Thirds And Symmetry

The First Rule.

Know it.

Frozen Climb

One of the first “Rules” of photography that most people learn when first starting out is the Rule Of Thirds. 

When composing a photograph, visualize a grid across the scene, dividing it into thirds vertically and horizontally. Just like in a game of tic-tac-toe. For a more dynamic composition you should place your main subject at one of the intersections of these imaginary lines or along one of the lines themselves.

You should avoid placing your subject dead center in the frame. In the case of landscape photos you should also avoid placing the horizon through the center of the frame, placing it instead on or near one of the imaginary horizontal lines either 1/3 up from the bottom or 1/3 down from the top.

Pretty simple, right?

Then break it.

Cherry Pond Blue Hour Reflections

Photography rules were made to be broken.

In this case, due to the Symmetry of the reflection, placing the horizon line perfectly centered in the frame works quite well.

What other instances can you think of where you can break the Rule Of Thirds and still make a good photograph? What about using symmetry in your compositions?

Big, But How Big?

Just how grand is that landscape anyway?

Franconia Ridge From Mt. FlumeAre those mountains in the distance some of New Hampshire’s tallest, or just a few small hills? Without anything in the photo to provide a reference of scale it’s really hard to say for sure.

So what’s a photographer to do?

Simple, by incorporating something of a known size, like a person or a building into your photos you’re more easily able to give viewers a sense of scale in your image.

Fly Fishing At Sunset, Stonehouse Pond.

The fly fisherman standing in his canoe helps to give an idea of just how tall the granite cliffs along the shore of Stonehouse Pond are. (Can’t see him? Click on the image to see a larger version and look for the fisherman along the far shore towards the right side of the image).  

A lone hiker rests on his way to the summit of Mount Washington

Mt. Washington is the tallest peak in the northeast. Having my friend Glen, seen here taking a break on our way to the summit last July, gives an idea of just how big the mountain is. And how much farther we have to go before we reach the summit.

Washington And The Ravines Above Joe Dodge Lodge

Here’s another shot of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, (the peak in the center of the frame), shown with the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Joe Dodge Lodge in the lower foreground. The lodge, the cars in the parking lot, as well as the roadway all provide scale to the mountains looming over them.

People and buildings aren’t the only thing to use to give a sense of scale. Anything of a commonly known size will work.

For more interpretations of this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge, click HERE.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadowed

In the darkness, forgotten amidst decay.

Hidden beneath graffiti and peeling paint.

Shadows of the past lie long in the fading light.

The ravages of time exacts its price.

Nothing escapes.

Abandoned Garage.

If you wish, you may lurk in the shadows of others.