Sunday, August 19, 2007

POV: Rule of Thirds

Image Copyright © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

One of the fundamental rules of photography is the much vaunted Rule of Thirds. According to Wikipedia, the "rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb in photography and other visual arts such as painting. The rule states that an image can be divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines. The four points formed by the intersections of these lines can be used to align features in the photograph. The application of the rule of thirds to photographs is considered by many to make them more aesthetically pleasing and professional-looking.

Rasmus Rasmussen in his blog (link below) recommends that anyone starting out in photography ought to use the Rule of Thirds. This applies not only to stock, but to photography in general. He also provides excellent advice for stock photography...this one for example:

"Saving room for copy is a stock favorite that ties in nicely with the rule of thirds. Copy space is where the designer can plop his client’s logo or whatever text needs to be in the ad. Like everyone else, designers are lazy people, and they like not having to move stuff around too much, in order to get the space they need for their copy. As a stock photographer, you can help them along. If for instance you have a still life shot, featuring a lovely rustic vase and some fall flowers, you could place that on the left third of the image and make sure that your background has a nice gradient to it, that will support being used for text.

Read the rest on Rasmus Rasmussen's blog.

Oh...and why did I choose this slanted photograph of Balinese dancers for this post of the Rule of Thirds? Well, it's because once you know what the Rule is, go out and break it with impunity when you feel like it.

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