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Photography Question 
Heather  M. Wareham
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/20/2007
 

The Thirds


My Q is do you us the thirds with every picture. If not which onces. Also what does PS stand for and there another one DH I think. This one could be wrong. Is there a page that shows a list of all the short forms.


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1/29/2007 6:27:45 PM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Hello Heather,

The "Rule of Thirds" is a basic compositional tool. To the human eye, this composition is more pleasing when there are "other" items in the shot that may help frame the picture, but are not the center of attention.

A photo of one person generally will not look quite right if they are dead center. At a minimum, you would place the persons head 2/3 up in the shot.

Is it always used? No! Absolutely not.
For example; extreme closeups rarely will rely on the rule of thirds.

"PS" is shorthand around here for Adobe "Photo Shop."
I have no idea what DH is.

All the best,

Pete


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1/29/2007 6:40:38 PM

 
Heather  M. Wareham
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/20/2007
  Thank you I have the thirds a little clearer in my head.


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1/30/2007 5:01:38 AM

 
W.    Hi Heather,

Pete's right, of course. Also, some cameras have the possibility of a grid in the viewfinder. A great tool for composition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds), and it makes it easy to keep horizons horizontal, and perpendiculars perpendicular.


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1/30/2007 8:10:33 AM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
 
 
 
Heather,
I've always found a picture to be worth a thousand words.

I am uploading three pics for you to look at with an approximate "thirds" grid overlaid on them.

In one photo is a person leaning on a tripod. Notice, that although the person in centered in the frame, the head falls on the top third grid line.

The next shot of a man in a suit. His head is placed directly on the left side (third line) and also slightly above it.
Had I placed him dead center above the upper third, the shot would not look as pleasing. The way his arms are positioned helped dictate the composition..The arms (lead) your eye somewhat. "Leading Lines" are preferable compositional words, at least to me; moreso than working with thirds. Leading lines AND the rule of thirds work well together.
Rarely do I want the "lines to lead" the viewer to the center of the photo.

The last one is a relative closeup of an Orchid that begins to BREAK the so called "rule of thirds", but not entirely. Notice the two primary flowers (the largest two)
Neither is centered in the frame. One is placed in the upper left close to the intersection (blue flower) and one is nearly centered but very close to the lower third line, (Yellow & white flower.)

The rule of thirds is quite dependent on "what" you are shooting.
If you are still unsure on how this works, remember this at a minimum, "Place nothing of interest in the center of the frame." While that piece of advice is not 100% accurate, it will serve you well for 95% of your shots.

All the best,

Pete
Hope this helps a little.


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1/30/2007 1:20:12 PM

 
W.   
 
  Viewfinder grid
Viewfinder grid
© W.
Miscellaneous Does...
 
 
Pete's right AGAIN, of course.


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1/30/2007 6:35:26 PM

 
Heather  M. Wareham
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/20/2007
  I thought in the gride the focous was were the line over lapped. In the first picture our of the three. You said is the head but the head is in the middle not were the lines over lap.


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1/31/2007 5:14:24 AM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  I've never seen DH in this forum. The Wikipedia disambiguation article on DH doesn't seem to say anything about photography.

Sometimes, the subject using the rule of thirds can be on a line, not just a cross.

I often use the rule of thirds, but in a photograph where there is symmetry, you want the photo to be balanced.

Learn more here: http://asp.photo.free.fr/Composition/photoProgramCompMainClass.shtml
and here:
http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=332&pq-locale=en_US


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1/31/2007 4:57:00 PM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Heather,
The rule of thirds is a STARTING point only. The subjects do NOT have to fall on intersecting lines as Ariel pointed out.

Look at the first photo again; notice how the hand IS on a intersection point.
This was intentional, as I felt it gave the "feel" of a relaxed informal pose.

Pete


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1/31/2007 6:30:53 PM

 
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