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Thread: The Rule of Thirds is WRONG.

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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    The Rule of Thirds is WRONG.

    I can't say I've ever paid much attention to the rule of thirds, I just tend to trust that when a picture looks right to me, then it is right. Occasionally in retrospect I find that my compositions are clumsy, but I think that's probably due to haste and laziness more than anything else. Then again I quite often find that they do seem to conform to the rule. More or less.

    Anyhow, for those of you who have been relying on the rule of thirds, I just thought I'd let you know that you're getting it all wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    No need to thank me.

    http://jov.arvojournals.org/article....icleid=2144235
    All constructive criticism accepted with gratitude.


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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    That's "interesting". Where's the whole article? It would be interesting to see it worked through.
    (Maybe he's bad at geometry)
    Am....... ------ Or Am here..... ---- Or here.....

    (Where's that third?)
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Only thing wrong with it in my opinion is that it was called the RULE of thirds in the firstplace. Should be the GUIDE of thirds. Cause it is not really a rule.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    That's "interesting". Where's the whole article? It would be interesting to see it worked through.
    (Maybe he's bad at geometry)
    Am....... ------ Or Am here..... ---- Or here.....

    (Where's that third?)
    As a "Meeting Abstract" perhaps it is the abstract f a presentation. There may not be a full article.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    I went looking for it in the other menus but 0-thing.

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    Ausphotography Regular thegrump's Avatar
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    I tend to go along with my own instinct. As a professional Draftsman for 50 years and one who was called upon to do a lot of graphic for a large government organization. What looks best for me, I do not like people staring at the edge of the frame. BUT, What if there is some thing else in the picture you want to bring in to help the mood, etc. I posted a picture recently, where the mood was a bit dismal, and overcast. I included a piece of broken window which I thought was appropriate to the overall mood. Make up your own mind

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    It's all about the Light!
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    Rulz are there to be broken - when needed!!!

    The ROT is a guide not really a rule.

    Further it is an over simplification of the Golden Ratio which is in architecture and nature.
    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/GoldenRatio.html
    The Golden Ratio has been proven to be generally aesthetically to most humans.

    See: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...e_Golden_Ratio for an excellent example.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    Think the photo needs a fraction more space at top and right.

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    Ausphotography Regular
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    I was taught, One must always remember the other rule which is, "For every Rule there Is An Exception".
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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    Think the photo needs a fraction more space at top and right.
    It's a decent enough composition, (Though actually I agree it needs more space to the right.) but you could move the white lines on it around quite a bit and they'd still seem to fit just as well.
    Last edited by jim; 05-09-2015 at 9:39pm.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROA44 View Post
    I was taught, One must always remember the other rule which is, "For every Rule there Is An Exception".
    One better: forget what you were taught

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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch
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    Or: photography is a great excuse to indulge your creative side. Why encumber yourself with rules?

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    Ausphotography Regular
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    May be that was why I'm still not edgemacated

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROA44 View Post
    May be that was why I'm still not edgemacated
    It MUST be! The proppa spellinge is "edgificated".

  15. #15
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    As others have said, the "Rule Of Thirds" is a guide, not a rule. It is ever so dependant on the photo, it's context and what you are trying to convery.

    Whilst it is not always right to say that the "Rule of Thirds" is always wrong, conversely, it's also not always right to say that the "Rule of Thirds" is always right. It just depends on the context and it is just another guide that you can use to help frame a photo. What I will also say is that used in conjunction with other "Rules", or more appropriately, Guides, the Rule of Thirds is still a very valid and powerful tool to use, as shown below.

    Probably a more apt tool is the "Golden Rule/Ratio/Section" or "Fibonacci Sprial", or "Phi Grid", which we seem to be drawn to due to the fact it occurs so much naturally in nature, this is quite close to the "Rule of Thirds", in that the intersection of the two lines of the Rule of Thirds is close to the spot of the Golden Rule/Section/Ratio or Phi Grid:

    http://www.apogeephoto.com/may2014/h...tography.shtml

    1) Generally, a horizion is generally considered best at about the Rule of Thirds. However, it depends on what you are trying to do. I am sure you'd agree if I cropped the bottom off this to put the horizon through the centre it would look completely uninteresting.



    2) a point of interest or where your eye is drawn into the photo might look best at the intersection of the Rule of Thirds. Eye drawn to the area where the flags are, bit not necessarily the point of interest, is at or about the intersection of the ROT.







    3) A bird or animal at the intersection of the ROT? It may work sometimes, but I think it is best, in many cases, if the bird s a little inside the ROT rather than have 2/3rds of the photos filled with nothing. In many cases of my bid photos, I sometimes put the legs and eyes near or at ROT intersection or one of these at or near the ROT, not the whole bird, it just wouldn't look right, IMO:







    4) You may want perfect symmetry conveyed and this may require your subject or point of interest to be perfectly centred. However, even in these examples, whilst balanced evenly left and right, the horizon or focal point is at about 1/3rd:



    Last edited by Lance B; 06-09-2015 at 10:58am.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Great Post @Lance B;

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Great Post @Lance B;
    Thank you kindly, Rick.

  18. #18
    As Keen As Mustard NikonNellie's Avatar
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    Yes - great post Lance and I totally agree with you. It depends on the image! Having said that, I do tend to use it with most of my pics whether they be a portrait, a landscape or other genre. I recently commented on a members image that I would normally suggest he use the ROT but instead the image he had posted really suited the subject being smack bang in the centre of the image. Most of the time ROT works but occasionally it's great to think outside the square and do something different.
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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikonNellie View Post
    Yes - great post Lance and I totally agree with you. It depends on the image!
    Thank you, Narelle.
    Last edited by Lance B; 06-09-2015 at 7:11pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    Thanks Lance, well said.

    In terms of the "article" being an abstract, and thus meant to represent research of merit I'd like to know how big the sample size of images was. 3 photos v 100 could have a big influence.

    How big was the sample of respondents, again a sample of 3 v 100 would have a potentially large impact on the results.

    Were the images really as described - we just have their word that the images complied with their categories.

    And what standing does the journal have and was it peer reviewed.

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