Rule of Thirds

This week Cee challenged us to compose ourselves and look at the Rule of Thirds. 

Looking through my photos I realised how I often snap several shots of the same scene anddo play around with the postioning of the subject. I have my camera set so the finder shows the grid lines and I do often think of the balance in terms of thirds. However as Cee points out in her tutorial, there are many diferent combinations and ways you can anchor a subject in a photo using the rule of thirds. It can be in the bottom third or placed in the top third or to the left to good effect. You can approach a photo from a two thirds verses one third point of view.

I realised that often subconsciously, that is how I have been sorting through my pictures at the end of the day and choosing which to keep and which to discard. Often the ones I have chosen do use the the rule of thirds to good effect.  Actually I find it hard to discard but I do make some “best of folders” for every place I visit!

Let’s compare some of these shots. One made it to the “Best of” folder and the other relegated to the “might use it oneday” pile.

The Sacre Coeur in Paris

Both photos can be looked at in terms of the rule of thirds. To me the one on the left is much more dramatic and uses the rule to better effect.

By anchoring the Sacre Coeur in the top third it gives the impression of being on top. It towers over the grey blues mass of the smaller buildings which take up the space in the lower two thirds. I get the impression it is on top of the hill over looking the city.

The photo on the right lacks impact. It is overpowered by the sky and by cutting the buildings below it to a mere one third you don’t realise how far above the city the Sacre Coeur really sits.

Lakeside Walk, Interlaken, Switzerland

Two photos taken in slightly different locations. The one on left works better for 2 reasons. By raising the line of houses to the top third the reflection is more prominent. The trees on the right give a nice framing effect with out taking over the photo as they only occupy a third of the picture. I think they also give the photo a sense of depth as they are in the foreground, the lake is the middle ground and the houses and hills in the background. It is in a way a kind of distance dimensional rule of thirds.

Nesting Water Fowl, Interlaken

What surprised me about this bird was how its nest was built on the river. The photo on the right is zoomed in. As far as the viewer is concerned the nest may be on the bank with the river behind. The bird takes up too much space and doesn’t leave the eye any room to fill in the story.  By making use of the rule of thirds in the photo on the left, we can see the bird’s nest is surrrounded by water. Having the bird on the right also moves my eye around the bird and over the nest. In a way, it emphasises the movement of the river as flows behind.

In response to Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge

Yoroshiku Onegai shimasuimages (1)



4 responses to “Rule of Thirds

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