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Author Topic: Rule of Thirds Question.  (Read 4750 times)
dwdallam
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« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2005, 02:36:46 PM »
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The compromise of sorts is to use the ready made frame sizes and then have the mats cut to whatever opening you need. I agree that it helps you to use ready made sizes to cut costs.  You could buy a cheap mat cutter for around $100 or so and cut your own mats. Alot of artists at least do their own mats.

 Hope it all works out for you and you become rich and famous!!
Well, if you use standard size frames and cut the mats to different sizes, then you have the problem of getting the spacing between the image and the frame to look nice. But I did have custom mat sizes cut, just that all of them are custom cut the same size--lol.

I think this will work out pretty well actually. I'm adjusting my technique to get all of what I need in the picture by composition and then some light resizing or cropping in Photoshop. It seems to be working ok.

I've never cared about being rich or famous (famous? What a nightmare), but what I would like to accomplish is to be able to take a picture that is dead on and when people view it they think--"Man, nice photograph!"

This is a question for all: How many hours a month do you spend shooting and out of those hours, how many images do you find that are display quality?
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dwdallam
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« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2005, 01:57:41 AM »
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This is a question for all: How many hours a month do you spend shooting and out of those hours, how many images do you find that are display quality?
I'm lucky to get in three hours a week, on average, apart from work and family responsibilities, with an understanding spouse no less. In a little over a year of a serious return to photography I have about half a dozen exhibition-worthy images, and maybe another half-dozen I like a lot.
WOW. OK so I feel better now. That would mean 52 x 3 = 156 hours to get 6 display quality pictures. That really isn't bad, but seeing it another way that would be a 40 hour a week job for a month to get 6 images, I mean if anyone could even do photography 40 hours a week straight. I don't think I could.  

In trying to get that night time boat shot I've probably got 8 hours alone in it.
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framah
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« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2005, 01:16:27 PM »
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Actually, I only shoot when I go away somewhere. I might head out to the Southwest for a week or so and the  first day there, I still pretty much have a tourist  eye. Wow! Look at that!! and stuff like that.  I accept that my first day is a throw away day of shooting. Been like that for as long as I have been shooting.  

Pretty soon, my mind starts switching over to the artistic side of seeing patterns and shapes and I start to shoot seriously.  When I come back, and go thru my images, I might have quite a few that are really good and 3 or 4 that I will work on in PS and print large and mat & frame  to show.  
  Then I stack them in the corner and forget about them.
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dwdallam
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« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2005, 01:45:01 AM »
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About 2% of pictures I take go on sale and that is pretty good. Of course most of that is working on the same theme but with different compositions and bracketing. I only shoot a scene if it has serious potential, don't waste my time otherwise. I work on the principle, if I would buy it then I shoot it, otherwise forget it.

I have my matt's custom made, costs more than the print because I use very thick double matts but it is well worth it. A 4" double matt of an 18X12" picture with a strung backing board and cellophane wrap costs me £18.
Thanks POM. I've just started doing that myself--if I don't seriously think the picture is worth working on, forget it, becsaue like you say, you work on one picture over and over again bracketing and composing. That is what I am learning and agree with too. What I am beggning to do is exactly what you say you do--some theme or idea I come up with and then spend all my time trying to get that "best" or "right" shot from it.

I'm still wroking the marina for that right night shot on those boats. I've deleted about 99% of all my pictures I took in what I call my nascent and ignorant stage of photography. As long as I feel myself growing and coming to a new level and depth in "seeing," "feeling," and then capturing something worthy, I'm interested. If that ever stops, then I'll probably be done with it.

Anyway, I think I have that boat picture coming near the "right" picture. It may happen tomorrow night. I could go back tonight, but it's trying since I have to stand on a dirt and rock embankment to get that shot, and after about 1.5 hours in that awkward position, I'm beat.
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boku
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« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2005, 07:40:18 AM »
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More properly stated, the primary FOCAL point is ideally located at the intersection of thirds, not FOCUS point.

In your picture, the FOCAL point seemed to be the boat masts, but the tonality was so subdued I wanted to look elsewhere. Sort of a paradox. This does not follow the rules of thirds, to my mind. If it were better lit, then the boat masts would hit two of the four intersections. This would have probably worked and been a nicely creative adaptation of the rule of thirds.

By the way, the rule of thirds is just meant to be good advice. It should help composition. It is also reinforced by BoKu's Obvious Rule of Composition: Do not put the Focal Point in the center of the image.
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dwdallam
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« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2005, 03:39:07 PM »
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More properly stated, the primary FOCAL point is ideally located at the intersection of thirds, not FOCUS point.

In your picture, the FOCAL point seemed to be the boat masts, but the tonality was so subdued I wanted to look elsewhere. Sort of a paradox. This does not follow the rules of thirds, to my mind. If it were better lit, then the boat masts would hit two of the four intersections. This would have probably worked and been a nicely creative adaptation of the rule of thirds.

By the way, the rule of thirds is just meant to be good advice. It should help composition. It is also reinforced by BoKu's Obvious Rule of Composition: Do not put the Focal Point in the center of the image.
Boku, yes, I see that now too. I think waht I was trying to do was get the masts a more of a siloette, and then have the eye look past them to the lights. I think I failed in that respect. But does that make sense?
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dwdallam
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« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2005, 10:53:19 PM »
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Yeah that makes lots of sense--in other words, the image is too busy, right?

In a word, yes.  FOR ME.  That's where personal opinion comes in, and you get one too.  BTW, you didn't post a link for the lighthouse shot...

Mike.
MIke, it's the same link as the original, but the lighthouse is below the nightshot. Just scroll down.
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dwdallam
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« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2005, 02:30:00 PM »
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In my opinion, the goal of shooting to fit a standard mat aspect ratio will, most of the time, mean that you will be including or excluding picture elements that will alter the narrative of the photo.  I would never approach it that way.  For me, each photograph has a unique aspect ratio.  What is included in the photo are those elements that: 1) contribute to the "story line" and 2) formally relate the overall composition to the edges of the image.  Sometimes it matches the film/sensor aspect ratio, mostly it doesn't.  I neither celebrate full frame capture nor despair when I have to crop.  In fact, cropping is my way of being definitive about what I want included.  For me, "full-framing" and your "standard ratio" approach compromises a critical set of choices.  

Now, what do I mean by narrative?  Simply put, it's your sense of what the photo is "about".  Take your lighthouse photo.  Ask yourself if the photo is "about" the unusual (and eye-grabbing) tree shapes on the left edge, or the lumpy shape (rock, island?) out in the water.  How much is it about the sky, or the grass in the foreground?  Unless there is something significant about the surrounding context (like showing how isolated something is or how ironic it is to find it in an environment that somehow contradicts it) it is frequently important to move in on your subject.  Go closer [click], closer still [click], keep going ..... [click]

BTW, I never use mats and dislike them intensely, not just because they are a pain and expensive, but because, for me, they have a pretentious air about them - a cheap way of trying to say "this is Art".  I print with generous white borders and frame them simply with no mats.  I know that my position on mats is idiosyncratic.  I like it that way.
Russel, I like what you said as it follows a nice progression of logical reasoning. All of it I agree with. My question about not using mats, which I think is intriguing and utilitarian too, is how do you get a visually agreeable border around oddly cropped images? It would seem that with some of your images, you would be have more border on the top than the bottom or larger bottom and top borders and then smaller side borders, which I think is disagreeable, at least to my eye. The reason for this is that we all have to work with standardized frame sizes, unless you order and build nonstandard frames to fit the borders that each of your images has--but that would be a lot of expense too.

I do really like the idea of being able to create my own borders and forget about matting all together. That would be just dandy for sure.

You are right about the lighthouse also. Lots of forground grass, tehn teh bushes on the left, and then the horizon with water and rocks in the front. I seee all of that also, but there was one issue I had when I shot that. The main thing was that I was getting "tilt" in the tower at any closer focal or real distance to the tower--lol. You know what I mean as with any tall structure, the closer you get, the more you have to tilt the camera backwards, which makes the object seem like it is falling backwards from the bottom to the top. There wasn't any higher ground I could have climbed on either at that location. For future instances like that, what do you or others suggest?
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russell a
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« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2005, 07:16:57 AM »
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So how do you mount the image in the frame itself without matting?

I use archival z-core tack boards from Pres-on Corp. and mount the print edge to edge.  (I print 16x20 and 24x30 with the white border part of the print.)  If one is going to mat, your choice of the solid core white mats is the best option - it's the least intrusive and the type one most often sees in museums.
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Steven M Anthony
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« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2005, 02:23:30 PM »
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Off the new topic of frames and mats...

I view the "rules" as guidelines to making visually pleasing, well-balanced images.  So when I'm interested in conveying some other emotion or sense, I break the "visually pleasing/well balanced" rules and use the "(insert other emotion or sense)" rules.  
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Steve

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« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2005, 09:00:21 PM »
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This is a question for all: How many hours a month do you spend shooting and out of those hours, how many images do you find that are display quality?
I'm lucky to get in three hours a week, on average, apart from work and family responsibilities, with an understanding spouse no less. In a little over a year of a serious return to photography I have about half a dozen exhibition-worthy images, and maybe another half-dozen I like a lot.
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michael sebastian
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dwdallam
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« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2005, 08:50:39 PM »
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I went back to the marina tongiht and shot three subjects. I reshot the lights and two boats. I think I got the lights better, but it's pretty boring color-wise.
That could mean that converting to black-and-white using the channel mixer might help the images along a bit.

But sometimes, just desaturating partially also changes the image quite a lot. I did a simple desaturation with the boats in the GIMP, and I think that if you were to do something similar on the original, it would be quite effectful:



To my eye, the effect here is that suddenly, my eye gets drawn to Jenna Lee and the small boats next to her. Jenna Lee gets the attention because of her saturated color, and the small boats are effectfully illuminated.

Experiment a bit with it, and maybe you'll find something that's really, really good. I like the composition, regardless of choice of colors. Perhaps you could sell this to the owner of the Jenna Lee.

If you want to look at how the rule of thirds theoretically might have something to do with the appeal I find in this image, then consider that the brightest illuminated little boat is half away from one third away from the bottom, and one third away from one third away from the left.
Jani, those are good ideas I immediately see. However, check the composition of the boat photo and look to the left, bottom  1/3--what's all that space over there? Tonight I am going to move around to the left and take that space out. I think that may really improve the image too. Good idea on boring colors being desaturated to make a good image. [08/16/05: took more photos and actually I like the one I posted now that I've really studied it. I might print it and mat it up to see how it looks framed.]
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