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Old 05-24-2009, 10:56 AM
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SCHOOLROOM Subject #10 Mon, 5-24-09 thru Sat, 6-13-09...The Rules of Composition Pt 1

Let me start by saying Welcome to the Schoolroom and that I really appreciate your participation in this thread thus far. That said, I've decided to change the format a bit, up the bar so to speak, turn this thread into what I hope will be an easier and good learning experience for all. In the coming months, I intend to cover the second part of Compostion, breaking the rules of composition, aperture, shutter speed, exposure and some other things. I hope I can count on your continued support and look forward to seeing your contributions to this thread. In the new format, instead of giving links for you to follow, I will give you explanations of the things I am speaking about, followed with an example (photo) demonstrating what I mean. So the goal of the next couple of weeks will be to submit photos that follow the rules listed below, please include which rule you used in your shot and why you decided on that particular rule.

The Rules of Composition, Part 1
Composition is more than just arranging the elements in a shot. It is the combining of these separate elements into a whole to create a pleasing image. Nor are these hard and fast rules, these should be considered guidelines used in pursuit of good photography. Natalie has made some good suggestions which you will see in upcoming Schoolroom threads. (Somehow, though I don’t think she was expecting quite this kind of response). If anyone else has suggestions, don’t hesitate to PM me. Just remember, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Before you take the shot:
You should consider what you want your viewers to look at and how you want to display main points of interest. Examine the foreground and background before you shoot. Composition includes an awareness of your subject’s surroundings and how these surroundings affect the main subject. You should ask yourself, what is the main subject? What angle will the light be striking at on the subject in my picture? Is there anything that could bring the focus onto the main subject? Where should the main subject be in the frame? These are all important things you should consider, but that doesn't necessarily mean you need to follow the rules exactly.

Rule of thirds:
The Rule of Thirds means that the frame can be divided into three horizontal sections and three vertical sections and therefore, where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect makes an ideal location for the more important parts of your picture. Using the rule of thirds doesn’t mean you have to put the point of interest on the right hand side and the bottom of the image.


The Rule of Thirds

The Golden Mean/Ratio/Harmonic :
Loosely related to the rule of thirds, is the Golden Mean or Golden Ratio it includes the Golden Triangle or the Golden Spiral or the Golden Rectangle and the Harmonic Triangle. The lines that divide an image in the Golden Ratio are also known as harmonic dividing lines. Our eye perceives such a division as especially pleasant because it likes to move back and forth between two different sizes, but at the same time also loves the harmony. No one knows why the human brain likes this division so much, simply said “It just looks good”. Taking pictures using the Golden Mean is a more fluid and visually compelling way to compose your shots. Notice how the petals follow the curved line of the Golden Spiral around to form a pleasing arc and the center of the flower is in the Golden Rectangle. In the image of the bird, notice how the diagonal line (this is called the Harmonic Triangle) dividing the image runs through the middle of the bird’s head and down along the main part of the body, allowing the eye to run along the diagonal line.



The Golden Spiral/Section


The Harmonic Triangle

Keeping things simple:
Avoid distractions in your background if your subject is close. Not everything is important to the overall image, decide on the main subject and try to keep everything else less interesting. Try to avoid lines or objects that distract or lead away from the subject. In the image below are three elements, the color, green and blue, the curved lines leading to the tree and the tree itself a very simple image. This particular image also follows the Rule of Thirds.


Keep it Simple


Thank you very much.

This thread runs from Sun, May 24th, 2009 through Sat, June 6th, 2009
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Last edited by Mary Robinson : 05-24-2009 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:16 PM
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Re: SCHOOLROOM Subject #10 Mon, 5-24-09 thru Sat, 6-6-09....The Rules of Composition Pt 1

Oh, excellent start to a new way to do this learning Schoolroom thread! This is exciting, Mary! Did you used to be a teacher before you were a trucker??? If so, it shows! Your example images are fabulous! Sure makes it clear what you mean.

I'll be scouring around for images for this for sure.

Cheers,
Sue
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:40 PM
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Re: SCHOOLROOM Subject #10 Mon, 5-24-09 thru Sat, 6-6-09....The Rules of Composition Pt 1

Okay - I'll play!

Here's my shot using the principles of The Harmonic Triangle ...



... although I suppose one could also call it the Rule of Thirds

Cheers,
Sue
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:52 PM
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Re: SCHOOLROOM Subject #10 Mon, 5-24-09 thru Sat, 6-6-09....The Rules of Composition Pt 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by moccasin
Okay - I'll play!

Here's my shot using the principles of The Harmonic Triangle ...



... although I suppose one could also call it the Rule of Thirds

Cheers,
Sue

That's excellent, Sue, I like the simplicity of this shot also. So that's a two for one deal, simple and harmonic. Great capture.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:17 PM
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Re: SCHOOLROOM Subject #10 Mon, 5-24-09 thru Sat, 6-6-09....The Rules of Composition Pt 1

Oh, boy, you are going to make us work for our fun....LOL! I like your photo, Sue.....but....I need a little more information about the Harmonic Triangle...I googled it, and got nothing....anybody got any information about it? Interesting concept....
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:47 PM
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Re: SCHOOLROOM Subject #10 Mon, 5-24-09 thru Sat, 6-6-09....The Rules of Composition Pt 1

Rule of thirds?

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Old 05-25-2009, 12:36 AM
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Re: SCHOOLROOM Subject #10 Mon, 5-24-09 thru Sat, 6-6-09....The Rules of Composition Pt 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamin
Oh, boy, you are going to make us work for our fun....LOL! I like your photo, Sue.....but....I need a little more information about the Harmonic Triangle...I googled it, and got nothing....anybody got any information about it? Interesting concept....

You may find this interesting ...

http://powerretouche.com/Divine_proportion_tutorial.htm

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/135/120/


You're right - there's not as much as I expected there would be.

Cheers,
Sue
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:20 AM
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Re: SCHOOLROOM Subject #10 Mon, 5-24-09 thru Sat, 6-6-09....The Rules of Composition Pt 1

Thanks, Sue, that second one is the one I found...the first link is very interesting...but as I read somewhere, it is easier to do it in a painting, as the artist can put the subjects where they want, where a photograph is harder to "arrange" unless you are doing a "set up"....Gosh, no takers other than you or me...I hope people aren't afraid to give this a try...it is just another fun experience! Here is another that I think falls into the rule of thirds...I will have to give the harmonic triangles a lot of thought....



Just to give some explanation on this, I was holding the four leaf clover, if you hold it next to a ladybug, she will crawl onto it....to darken the background some to make the clover pop, I used Layer: New: Layer: Mode: Softlight: Check Fill with soft light neutral color 50% gray; Opacity about 45 %. Then I used a soft brush ( 45 % opacity, set hardness slider way to the left) and choose the black color.....I brushed over all the background. This was not dark enough, so I duplicated that layer several times. Until I got what I wanted. Each time you duplicate that gray layer, it doubles the effects of what you did. But after I posted, I see I darkened it a tad too much in areas...so I would go back with the brush, choose a 50% gray color, and go over some of the areas, maybe on several of the duplicated layers...the gray color will erase the black color....play play play.....Just for your information. Is it TMI?

Does this one qualify for Harmonic Triangles?

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Last edited by Dreamin : 05-25-2009 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:36 PM
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Re: SCHOOLROOM Subject #10 Mon, 5-24-09 thru Sat, 6-6-09....The Rules of Composition Pt 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by moccasin
Okay - I'll play!

Here's my shot using the principles of The Harmonic Triangle ...



... although I suppose one could also call it the Rule of Thirds

Cheers,
Sue

Lovely image Sue! Seems ideally suited for this exercise

jacki
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:39 PM
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Re: SCHOOLROOM Subject #10 Mon, 5-24-09 thru Sat, 6-6-09....The Rules of Composition Pt 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamin
Rule of thirds?



I love everything about this image. beautiful combination of softness and clarity. Very pleasing composition!

jacki
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:15 PM
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Re: SCHOOLROOM Subject #10 Mon, 5-24-09 thru Sat, 6-6-09....The Rules of Composition Pt 1

Well, I'd love to say I planned this composition but obviously that's not so.

But it does seem to fall into the golden spiral layover grid (conveniently present in Lightroom2). So here tis, pretty much out of the camera except for a tiny trim on the bottom.



Now I'm going to spend some time paying more attention to composition. This is a great classroom Thanks Mary!

jacki
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:49 PM
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Re: SCHOOLROOM Subject #10 Mon, 5-24-09 thru Sat, 6-6-09....The Rules of Composition Pt 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamin
Oh, boy, you are going to make us work for our fun....LOL! I like your photo, Sue.....but....I need a little more information about the Harmonic Triangle...I googled it, and got nothing....anybody got any information about it? Interesting concept....

Natalie this is a quick explanation of the Harmonic Triangle Rule. If the imge was 1:618 in proportion it would become the Golden Triangle.




NB you could also take it from the 2/3 mark back to the corners for another proportion. This is why some images that do not conform to rule of thirds seem to work.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:49 PM
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Re: SCHOOLROOM Subject #10 Mon, 5-24-09 thru Sat, 6-6-09....The Rules of Composition Pt 1

LOL! Jacki, that's too funny of your dog...I have two boxers that love to give me that pose! I see that it does fit the spiral...well done! And thanks for you comments on Ready Freddie, my soft kitten!

Thanks, Wendy...hmmm...I will have to capture that image of Harmonious Triangles and study it....I did not see this post until after I posted mine, funny....must have been slow loading...
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Last edited by Dreamin : 05-25-2009 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:52 PM
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Re: SCHOOLROOM Subject #10 Mon, 5-24-09 thru Sat, 6-6-09....The Rules of Composition Pt 1

I will be back later with images and comments at the moment have visitors and a lot on. Well done on all the images so far. Thanks Mary for another great challenge/learning experience.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:12 PM
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Re: SCHOOLROOM Subject #10 Mon, 5-24-09 thru Sat, 6-6-09....The Rules of Composition Pt 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamin
LOL! Jacki, that's too funny of your dog...I have two boxers that love to give me that pose! I see that it does fit the spiral...well done! And thanks for you comments on Ready Freddie, my soft kitten!

Thanks, Wendy...hmmm...I will have to capture that image of Harmonious Triangles and study it....I did not see this post until after I posted mine, funny....must have been slow loading...

Natalie I think I was probably editing it .....
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