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Photography Question 
Vinod K. Menon
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/9/2006

About Rule of third

  Kullu Dashera
Kullu Dashera
© Vinod K. Menon
Sony Cyber-shot DS...
  Bus Top Ride at 5000 ft
Bus Top Ride at 5000 ft
© Vinod K. Menon
Sony Cyber-shot DS...
First of all a special thanks to each & every person who has taken time to share their expertise with me.

Question: I have done some reading on the Rule of Third and am bit confused regarding that. I have uploaded 1 photo ( hopefully 2 will appear) these were taken during my last visit to Himalayas . What I need to know is how can I follow rule of third while taking these snaps because in most cases that was the best position or was there something better that I could have done?

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2/25/2007 2:53:51 AM

Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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  Rules were made to be broken. You can't always follow the "rules" and sometimes you just don't want to follow them. Do whatever feels right.

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2/25/2007 3:03:45 AM

Vinod K. Menon
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/9/2006
  Thanks for the tip Carolyn - I'll keep that in mind so that I don't land in situations where I have to pull my hair out :-)

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2/25/2007 3:12:25 AM

W.    Hi Vinod,

without seeing the entire scene it's difficult, if not impossible, to advise how to apply the Rule-of-Thirds here.
Imo these photos need other compositional tweaks first.

@ photo 1:
- should have been in portrait mode
- you could have pointed your cam slightly down, encompassing the people's legs and feet. Now those look cut off and the people have to much empty space above their heads.
- You could also have squatted, max low viewpoint, pointing the cam up, encompassing the people from head to toe.
- You could have chosen a viewpoint on the extreme left or right, against the bridge railing, shooting along the walking people (and getting many more in the frame), maximizing perspective.
- You could have shot down from your overhead cam on your outstretched arm.

In other words, you could and should have tried different viewpoints, and you could have avoided all that empty space above people's heads, or cutting off their legs.

@ photo 2:
- we're looking mostly at peoples' backs. That's not very interesting. You should have included much more of the scenery (so probably more wide angle).

Both photos badly need fill-flash: the light is harsh and shadows are very dark.

Basically: if you shoot a particular scene from a number of varying viewpoints and perspectives you will have more choice later.

Just a few remarks to apply before you even get to apply the Rule-of-Thirds (

Have fun!

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2/25/2007 6:04:52 AM

Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  The rule of thirds is actually quite easy to understand – well, now that I finally understand it, it seems easy! Lol

Think of an image as being divided into thirds by invisible lines. Place the horizon at either the top or bottom imaginary line and then place your focal point or subject at the intersection of these lines. In many images this placement will draw the viewer’s eye into the frame and help to define the main subject of your image. This “rule” works particularly well for single focal point subjects such as flowers, trees and other single subject images. Like every rule, the rule of thirds was made to be broken and there are many situations in which this rule actually makes an image less interesting, or at least this has been my experience. When I first started getting serious about my photography I struggled to place every subject at the upper line intersection – the top right hand or top middle intersection of the lines. Finally, I realized that every image looked somewhat similar and that nothing looked creative or new. I now follow the “rule” when it makes sense, but no longer feel enslaved by it. As Carolyn so eloquently put it; you have to compose your image in a way that feels right for you.

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2/25/2007 6:10:20 AM

Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  these are apparently square photos.vertical photos to include a larger portion of the bridge,and yes feet,may have given a better sense of the idea.
the rule of thirds could have been followed here.
in vertical.
upper bridge.
sky/mountain. f16,polarizer.
i ask why the photo was taken at this point.just a crossing?family?
if an exodus it must include more of a sense of people,not persons.
all this was the first photo.the 2nd was just a travel pic,sam

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2/25/2007 10:36:29 PM

Vinod K. Menon
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/9/2006
  Thanks Mr. Smith, Irene & Samuel for the valuable inputs. To answer Sam's query - goddess was being taken back to her adobe there. The bridge is smaller than it looks hence that was the only shot I could take before the group was on to me ('ll follow the tips given here next time).

Query : Pardon my ignorance what is Fill Flash ( my camera has forced flash, auto flash, slow-sync flash) always wanted to know what the different setting was for?

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2/26/2007 4:08:13 AM

W.    Fill Flash:

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2/26/2007 6:12:03 AM

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