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Old Dec 22, 2010, 12:49 PM   #1
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Default The Rule of Thirds

Calling all experts and pros (that means pretty much everybody on the forum, compared to me), what is this so-called 'rule of thirds' ? Do those grid lines actually help with the composition ? Do any of you guys use it ?

I've added the grids to my LCD today, and see if it will actually improve my photos or just distract me !

Thanks for stoping by...
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 1:01 PM   #2
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Often, placing the subject in the exact center of the frame doesn't produce a very interesting image. By dividing the frame by thirds, both horizontally and vertically, you can get more interesting image by placing the subject at the intersection of the dividing lines, and any prominent horizontal or vertical lines in the scene onto one of the dividing lines.

For instance, when shooting a landscape scene, placing the horizon on the dividing line between the center third and the bottom third will direct attention to the sky, while placing the horizon on the dividing line between the center third and the top third will direct attention to the terrain.

Also, placing the face of a subject at one of the four intersections of the dividing lines, will also make the image more interesting. And if the subject isn't looking at the camera, then placing them in the intersection that places their gaze across the image works best.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 1:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for the insight TCav...


BTW, I've already looked at the Wiki article...I don't like how things are explained on that site, hard to understand, sometimes too technical !
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 2:50 PM   #4
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It's a greek idea i think. it and framing with a branch or overhang are something i tell beginner photographers all the time. once they have that down, they can move on. but, right away, junky snapshots start to look good. there's 5 easy steps to better photos here:
http://www.photosbyjay.com.au/weddin...-5-easy-steps/

nothing to do with weddings. just general photography. that grid helps. it's funny that i have it on my p&s but my sony a550 doesn't show it.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 2:59 PM   #5
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The great advantage of using digital is that you don't have to believe anyone' advice. Work out what the possible shooting/framing modes are and shoot lots of pictures systematically using the different rules. I think you'll see for yourself which works best.

And yes, I do find a grid appearing on the display does help, though in my case it's more with getting things level than with composing as such.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 3:32 PM   #6
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Nice contributions guys...I highly encourage you to post pics composed with the rule of thirds ! (with the grids appearing on the image please, if possbile)

Grazie !
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 3:57 PM   #7
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I can't say no to such a request, so here's one from july in toronto canada (warmer days when the tall ships were doing their race in the Great Lakes). the grid lines don't appear but you can imagine. it's about feeling. not exactness. horizon round about 1/3 from bottom. main part of boat left 1/3. and lastly a bit of room in front of the boat.

this is the full image from my camera. if it weren't properly positioned as i like it, i would have cropped to tidy that up.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 7:52 PM   #8
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Rule of thirds is just one tip for composing picks. This may help you as an insight:

http://www.digital-photography-schoo...mposition-tips
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Old Dec 23, 2010, 12:49 AM   #9
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How do I set the grid appearing on my camera ? I use a Canon Rebel xsi and I cannot see the grid lines... I am sure it will make a big difference once it can be seen.
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Old Dec 23, 2010, 4:13 AM   #10
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maybe the canon xsi can only do it in live view:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos450d/page10.asp
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