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The Rule of Almost Thirds

Just about everyone knows that an image tends to look best when the subject is pushed to either side of the image, following the photography rule of thirds.

My camera even has a little grid overlay feature I can turn on that divides my live view screen into thirds to help me compose the shot. That’s pretty handy, and it’s great for making sure the camera is held straight (straightening horizon lines, walls, whatever).

But a lot of times I find myself adhering TOO closely to the little points on the grid, sticking my subject exactly on the “crosshairs” of the dividing lines. Framing a subject according to exact geometric thirds should be best, right? That’s what I think as I’m busy paying attention to all the other elements of the shot at the same time.

Then I remind myself, again, the rule of thirds is not a rule, it’s a guideline. Just like those guidelines on my camera display screen; they aren’t meant to be used as an absolute. So out of curiosity,  going through some different pictures I’d taken with an obvious use of the “rule” of thirds, I put a grid over them in photoshop dividing them into thirds to see if they matched the corners exactly.

Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds

Of course, none of these match up with the center of the dividing lines. And none of them need to! It could even be the rule of fourths, as in some of my examples. The photographic rule of thumb should just be “keep the main subject out of the center third”, that’s all.

Even though I just said it’s a guideline, not a rule, remember that rules are made to be broken. Lots of photographs can work just fine with the subject in the center. It all depends on the individual look and situation.

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Categories: Photography

The Wonderful World Of Color

Why do I convert almost all of the pictures I take to black and white? I love black and white photography and I love making black and white pictures, yes.
But I’ve come to realize there’s another reason: Black and White photography is easier.

White Vs. Black

It’s easier to slap a good B&W conversion on an image and come out with something interesting, than it is to take the color image in a way that’s interesting in the first place.
With B&W you can also blow out highlights or have deeper, darker contrast and not have to worry about distorted color information. Black and White photography lets you get away with the extremes.

People say they like B&W because colors can distract from the image. I disagree…. Properly used color in an image is not distracting. Having unnecessary or extra colors can be, however.
This is why it sometimes works well to desaturate the colors a little, a muted color scheme ties the colors together and helps eliminate those distracting colors. Muting the color intensity can also strengthen the mood and character of a color image. It’s still in color, it just brings the colors closer together to be less distracting.
Hotel Missoula
I seem to have gone this way with a lot of the color images I DO have.

the Rising Tide

Like a boss

Categories: Photography

Curdling the milk

February 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Okay, not doing so well on the blogging.
Photography – coming along welll….. Photography classes are a great way to stretch yourself and open your eyes to new subjects and images, expanding your photographic eye.

Especially when it comes to taking pictures of people. It wasn’t something I really cared to do at first, but having two “people” photo assignments forced me to open up. And I enjoyed it.
Being required to take pictures of something can really kill it though if you’re not careful.

Sort of a lull lately but I feel like I’ve improved a bit. Was it Ansel Adams that said your first 10,000 photographs are your worst? I should look that up, I can’t remember who said it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/forrestrowell/sets/72157622718382194/

Categories: Photography

More B & W

Enjoying this black and white thing! Here’s a couple more, still from within the past two weeks or so. I bought my own camera (Sony Cybershot W120) because it was on sale. Still pretty much a basic point point and shoot digital, but I’m starting to think it was a good investment.

These are less “abstract” this time. (or, not at all…)
Rail Road Crossing

Locust Dimensions

Casting such a thin shadow

Overpass

Categories: Photography

Black and White Abstracts

I’ve just started to dink around with taking “abstract black and white” pictures. These are some of the best ones I’ve done so far (it’s only been like a week).

They’re not great but I’m happy with how some of them turned out. Plus, it’s pretty fun. 🙂
BWabstract

BW1

BW2

BWbankers

opened mail

shadow of reflection

The intent here was to pay attention to composition and, as with most black and whites, to look at lines and contrasting areas of space to define the image instead of color.

Categories: Photography