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07-31-2012, 09:04 AM   #16
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I generally find that I have more pleasing results when adhering to the rule of thirds. It's a great tool to have in the box and has really helped my composition over the years. Not every shot calls for it.

07-31-2012, 09:19 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by sb in ak Quote
I generally find that I have more pleasing results when adhering to the rule of thirds. It's a great tool to have in the box and has really helped my composition over the years. Not every shot calls for it.
as pointed out there are many variations on the rule (diagonals, golden triangle etc) Rules are useful of course but they are made to be broken as well. Certainly learning and using the various rules will develop your eye for composition. at some point you develop your own style if you are lucky that may or may not incorporate the rules (Mike cash definitely is a good example so is Jools and Toufeg)
07-31-2012, 09:49 AM   #18
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I call it the "suggestion of thirds", but in all honesty if you don't have a valid reason not to use it (i.e. some other compositional device, or deliberately trying to break the rules) you should. It's actually based on an approximation of the golden ratio of Φ which is 1.618 to 1, but you can only divide a rectangle into smaller golden rectangles if the original frame has those proportions (it won't work for a 5:4 or a 4:3 aspect ratio, 3:2 comes close), rule of thirds can be applied to any rectangle. If you don't think it's a big deal, take a look at some professional photos, then look at some typical vacation snapshots. You'll start to see how composition just produces more impact. Of course blind adherence to any rule can be bad, I always play with my cropping in post production to find something that I feel works the best.
07-31-2012, 10:15 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
The Photo Police will come though, if you do a self portrait with a duck face. I know that from experience
Well that's a whole 'nother kinda thang.

Oh yeah, pic or it didn't happen.

07-31-2012, 11:08 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by shocktroop5811 Quote
Ok...I'm not jumping into this question without having done a little research about this. I'm been a photography enthusiast for a while now, especially since I've live in Japan for two years, and I've decided to take my hobby to the next level. I'm really creative with my shots too! So I bought a K-5 and I will be picking it up tomorrow! Since I've started to really learn about photography and the three settings and DOF and composition and everything else, the "Rule of Thirds" seem to be very important! So my question is...why? What's the big deal if the subject is on one of the intersection lines or right in the middle!? As long as the picture is in focus and straight what does it matter if the rule of thirds applies or not? Is it one of those thing where someone thought it was a good ideal so everyone started doing it so that just became the standard? Is it supposed to be more pleasing to the eye? Is it just "The thing to do"? Can someone please explain this concept to me so I can have a better understanding as to why it's soooo important? Thanks!
Always placing everything in the center, is akin to having maximum DOF on every shot. Variable DOF can elicit the "3D" effect while The Rule of 1/3's can have a similar effect that it forces the eyes to find the subject. Do you fill the frame in every picture you take? Since you said that you're "really creative", can we see some examples of your work?

Last edited by tabl10s; 07-31-2012 at 02:39 PM.
07-31-2012, 12:24 PM   #21
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I hope that this example helps your imagination:



Rule of Thirds


Michael
07-31-2012, 01:44 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
as pointed out there are many variations on the rule (diagonals, golden triangle etc) Rules are useful of course but they are made to be broken as well. Certainly learning and using the various rules will develop your eye for composition. at some point you develop your own style if you are lucky that may or may not incorporate the rules (Mike cash definitely is a good example so is Jools and Toufeg)
Spot on.
07-31-2012, 04:44 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
The background in many case emphasizes the subject. An offset subject tends to make the eye move around a little making the photo a bit more interesting, perhaps.
Yeah, but I use plain white or black card as a background for the majority of my shooting. Nothing there to emphasise. I'm taking photos of my subject, not the background.

07-31-2012, 05:10 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kona Quote
Yeah, but I use plain white or black card as a background for the majority of my shooting. Nothing there to emphasise. I'm taking photos of my subject, not the background.
Then it obviously does not apply to your type of photography.
07-31-2012, 06:01 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kona Quote
Yeah, but I use plain white or black card as a background for the majority of my shooting. Nothing there to emphasise. I'm taking photos of my subject, not the background.
And I get stock photos, isolated on white, rejected if the subject is dead center. I have no idea why, it is isolated on white, you can move it wherever you want. But the reviewer prefers a rule of thirds composition and will reject it without.
07-31-2012, 06:44 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kona Quote
Yeah, but I use plain white or black card as a background for the majority of my shooting. Nothing there to emphasise. I'm taking photos of my subject, not the background.
Can you post some examples? I feel like that would help the conversation.

The rule of thirds is really helpful for emphasizing relationships or environments, or relationships between people and their environments. I often use a "rule of sixths" when I want to create more dynamic compositions. Here are a few examples I don't feel would be as successful if the subjects were centered.











07-31-2012, 07:10 PM   #27
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The RoT is also very importaint for portraiture unless the subject is looking dead-on to the camera. If you center someone looking to the right, everything 'behind' them is going to just seem awkward and confusing snce your eyes will naturally be dragged to the direction the subject(s) are looking in.

If the subject is looking dead on, then it works, but only if done right to avoid the photo becoming a mug shot.
07-31-2012, 07:31 PM   #28
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Double posting all up in here... :-D Figured I'd share some examples of how the Rule of Thirds comes into plays in ways you might not realize, and how training yourself to use it can be a huge asset. (And by knowing it, it makes when you violate the rule all the better since you're going in knowing you're breaking the rules)

I tend to like to take 'road' shots, in which case the rule comes into play a lot.

This shot is a great example. The subject - the road and fogged lights dead center - are framed by the rest of the shot. That framing? Rule of thirds.



Same here. Even when the RoT is being used on negative space.



If I'd centered the subject here, this shot just would not have worked. At all. By placing the men on the left third of the shot, the eye gets naturally drawn by the hose to the secondary subject in the background. This shot is kind of interestiong because the man pointing is actually on the 'wrong' third of the shot. You want to follow to where he's pointing, which isn't actually the subject. If they hadn't been spraying the hose, this shot would have been 1000x more awkward and not worked.




This a really, REALLY moldy oldy, and at first glance the church is dead center - until you realize the walls and background are right along the lines of the RoT.



Same deal here. At first the tree is dead center - except it's 'framed' by the RoT.



Even this shot roughly follows the RoT.



Basically, don't look at it as "I need to place things on the points/lines" its 'remember that the eye is going to follow the stuff along those points and lines more easily then those not.

If you practice at it enough, your eye will actually start snapping shots on the RoT without you even thinking about it.

A good example of that is this shot - it was taken during a parade in the middle of a set of like... 120 shots. I certainly wasn't thinking "I NEED TO FRAME THIS" when I was shooting it, I simply was out having fun snapping photos. By instinctively RoT-ing the shots, they came out with a far less of a need to go in and beat them with the post process bat afterwards to crop out stuff.

07-31-2012, 07:51 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
The background in many case emphasizes the subject. An offset subject tends to make the eye move around a little making the photo a bit more interesting, perhaps.
This can be the case. If the image contains a loosely-identified 'subject', yet has interesting things happening elsewhere as well, the rule of thirds can probably bring the whole image together pretty well...

Of course if your subject is binary in nature, you maybe place the thirds-line intersection between them



... or just choose one to highlight ...





...Sometimes you pick an entire line, not an intersection ...



... Usually it's just kinda 'thirds-ish' ...



Other examples:






Last edited by jsherman999; 07-31-2012 at 07:58 PM.
07-31-2012, 07:54 PM   #30
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The rule of thirds, along with other “rules” like the rule of fifths, golden section, specific aspect ratios like square format or 4 x 5, have to do with the aesthetics of the photograph. For fine art photography the image must transcend the subject, the equipment and the technique. All these rules help to create a window for the viewer to look at and go beyond what is portrayed literally on the image.

A technically perfect photograph is not necessarily interesting. On the other hand, a photograph where the main subject “interacts” with the space in terms of position can be very intriguing. Even with pure black or white backgrounds, the relative position and size of the subject can convey the sense of space, movement and size which are as important as focus, sharpness or white balance.
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