(Top image courtesy of awesomephotos)
A Quick History Lesson
“The history of the Rule of Thirds. It wasn’t developed by photographers. In fact, it was the creation of painters in the Renaissance period. Their aim of this style of composition was to provide a bit of background in their paintings to allow it to tell a story. It was the Renaissance painters who found that the eye doesn’t rest on the center of a painting. Instead, the eye wants to roam with the subject.
The idea is to place your subject in either the top, bottom, left or the right third of the screen. The middle is the known “no no” placement. The idea is that you want to split the image into a 1:2 ratio (one third and two thirds), instead of in half.”
I just love this image for many reasons. Part of this challenge is to explain the power of the third acting in each photograph. In this photograph, the eye tends to focus on the bottom-right third (the furthest leaf bud on the right is situated at the intersecting point). The eye then drifts towards the tip of the leaf buds just off-center (examining the melting snow), glances at the grounding fence and then jumps to the muted background and back to the subject.
This scenery allows the eye to flow from the bottom-right third to the visual end of the road ( top-left third) with the help of the curvature of the lake’s shoreline. There is no dramatic focal point or subject matter, but I think the use of thirds compliments the composition of the image.
This photo was taken sitting in the car going on a day trip to Barrie, Ontario. The sky was so amazing and I lucked into this image. The end of the highway sits on the bottom-right intersection point. The eye is drawn upwards to the shiny cloud located in the top-right third section. The lower cloud layer touches the treeline at the bottom-right third and the eye follows the cloud stream across the highway.
The beak of the seagull touches the bottom-right third intersecting point drawing the eye along it’s body and then to the wave splatter which lies on the whole horizontal line connecting the two bottom thirds intersecting points. The eye then tends to want to play in the water, later returning to the subject. The sandy beach grounds the whole image.
*(Many thanks to Cee for this learning experience. This is the first time I’ve tried to analyze some of my photos this way and understand why they work.)