A Phoenix Burning

Rule of Thirds

So, Scott gave us a new Challenge. Run on over there to check out the details! Since he gave us a lot of leeway and didn’t require new photos, I figure I have no excuse for not participating. I will work on getting some new photos, but for now I decided to go back through my photo stream to pick some ready made examples of the Rule of Thirds.
When I first became tuned in to this rule for photographers, I began noticing its use everywhere…every cinematically brilliant piece I saw, I got distracted noticing the rule put to use on the big screen…for example, this:

Or this:

Or even this:

All of them beautiful, and I’m sure that attention to this rule at the right moments helps make them so.

I can’t say that I attend to this rule thoughtfully, but I do think I tend to apply it naturally. I don’t use the grid lines….in fact, I don’t even know how to turn them on (she says somewhat shamefully) but I suppose I must “see” them in my mind’s eye as I shoot…maybe??? Or maybe not? In truth, I don’t consider rules with my head when I shoot…I just shoot. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes it’s not, but I think we can over think these things sometimes.

But let’s have a look, shall we?
First, an older favorite taken in Saratoga Springs, NY. Although the subject is centered, the horizontal planes follow “the rule” so I think it works as an example, don’t you?


An early morning sunrise in Ocean City, NJ:


A shot from the Adirondack Balloon Festival, taken two years ago:


This is Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine in Orlando, Florida. This one is debatable I think. Some would say no, it doesn’t work as an example because the focus is up the center aisle, but I still see thirds, again working horizontally. What do all you experts out there say about this one?


And two favorites from Ocean City, NJ taken this past summer.



None of these shots were cropped, so I will go and do that next. Maybe I’ll pull a Karma and offer up more than one challenge post! πŸ˜‰ In any case, you have plenty of time to jump in and participate! Stay tuned for my official entry.


5 responses

  1. Boy do I like that Saratoga racetrack. It is just gorgeous.

    I think the kite flyer may be the best “thirds” example – certainly there’s a lovely line there. This is an interesting assignment.

    January 7, 2012 at 10:24 pm

  2. Nice that you come with all these fine examples of this “rule”. I got very inspired by all your examples here, thank you!
    Like you, I have until now not used this as a consistent tool in my photography. And – as Scott also pointed out – it’s not the intention. The idea is to apply it naturally – like you obviously do!!!
    The great thing about working with an assignment as Scott’s here – it is that by using energy and attention on an issue like this – you can improve your photography and image processing.
    I sat down immediately last night and had suddenly spent a lot of time researching and refreshing the topic. And had suddenly lots of energy to meet the challenge and was busy finding photos I will use for the assignment! And I have probably already now learned a great deal!!!
    And above here I can see, that you felt the same as I did:
    “This is a great assignment, that will help us improve our photography! Thank you, Scott πŸ˜‰ !”

    January 8, 2012 at 10:49 am

  3. Gee, we should make “pull a Karma” a new saying in the blog community, LOL! Looks like you’ve found some great examples to get going with – I can’t wait to see what you do with them and what other photos you may take. I really have no idea what I’m going to do for the assignment.

    January 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm

  4. “Pull a Karma”? Sounds painful if you ask me. πŸ™‚

    Okay, Missy, get out your manual and find out how to turn those viewfinder grid lines on and off. Remember, I am always watching (said like Roz in Monsters, Inc.).

    January 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm

  5. “Pull a Karma”–how funny, KD! (OK, it looks like everyone already said that.) I love your photos here, especially the horse photo, although the kite one is my second favorite. I also listened to the Lion King songs last night–and Aladdin,too–while dancing around the house.

    January 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm

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