February 2012 — Rule of Thirds

The February assignment was about composition, namely the Rule of Thirds. As I learned way back during my architecture days, things look better if they are off-center. The Rule of Thirds refines that and works like this. Draw two horizontal lines and two vertical lines on a picture so it is evenly divided like a tic tac toe grid. The intersections are four focal points where you should place the primary objects in the photo. Most image editing software will superimpose the grid for you when you crop an image, and some cameras will display the grid on the LCD or in the viewfinder. (My Nikon D7000 grid is 4×4 instead of 3×3 so I have to adjust a little.) In each of my entries I placed the primary object at one focal point and a secondary object at the diagonally opposite focal point.

Bald Eagles

Bald Eagles

The eagle at the bottom left point is very dramatic with his feathers spread and his talons ready to go fishing. His partner is scanning the river for his own lunch. I’ve also cropped the photo to show just the eagle in flight, and I like this version better.



I composed this shot with carnations near two of the focal points. The out-of-focus flower serves as a counter-point to the flower in the foreground.



The sharp and vibrant rose bud at one focal point is balanced by the hint of rose blossoms in the background.




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