Readers Photo Challenge: Rule of thirds

The rule of thirds, the subject of the latest challenge assignment, is a compositional tool that many learn when starting out in photography. It states that if you divide up the frame into equal thirds with imaginary lines vertically and horizontally, your main subject should be placed at one or more of the intersection of those lines. It helps one to put their subject off to one side or another or high or low in the frame to avoid the static dead center.

Sixty photos were sent in by 11 readers. Here are the top examples of the rule of thirds.

_________________________________________

Carolyn Silva of Jackson used a Nikon D7500 DSLR camera to photograph a male phainopepla, or silky flycatcher, staring out from the branches of a plum tree in her backyard. It’s is partially obscured by the branches but Sliva’s positioning of it in the upper right third of the frame helps to brings the viewer’s eye right to the mohawk-ruffed bird.

_________________________________________

Teresa Mahnken of Morada photographed a spectacular sunset along Flood Road in Linden. Cows graze in range land in the foreground and a lone windmill stands in the upper left third as an accent against dramatic clouds that are turned to orange and purple by the setting sun.

_________________________________________

Dave Skinner of Stockton used two compositional techniques in addition to the rule of thirds in his photo of Burns Tower at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. With a Nikon D5600 DSLR camera, Skinner placed the iconic Stockton landmark at the bottom left third of the frame. In the foreground he placed a large oak tree which created a bold diagonal in the picture. Lastly, 2 of the tree’s branches reach down and frame the tower, emphasizing it even more.

_________________________________________

Kurt Gatejen of Elk Grove also used a diagonal in addition to the rule of thirds. With a Nikon D7100 DSLR camera equipped with a 200-4500mm lens, he photographed a black-necked stilt wading in the waters of the Cosumnes River Preserve near Thornton. A stick in the water creates a diagonal that leads the viewers’ eye directly to the bird which is in the lower right third of the frame. In addition, the stick and it’s reflection echo the bend in the bird’s leg in this elegant, minimalist composition.

_________________________________________

Rick Wilmot of Lodi used a Canon 5d Mk III to photograph the buds on a climbing rose at his home. His composition is a classic example of the rule of thirds. He cropped the photo into a square composition ad placed the buds in the upper left third of the frame.

_________________________________________

Sydney Spurgeon of Stockton used a Nikon D500 DSLR camera to photograph a hibiscus flower while on vacation in Oahu, Hawaii. Shooting from the side rather than straight on, she placed the pistil and stamen of the blossom at the upper left third of her composition.

_________________________________________

Steven Rapaport of Stockton was also on vacation when he took his photograph of an Altamira Oriole in the Copan Ruins of Honduras with a Canon 5D Mk IV DSLR. While most of the bird is outside of the rule of thirds, it’s head almost at the upper right third of the photo.

_________________________________________

Mitch Bazzarre of Stockton used a Canon 6D to photograph the Tower Bridge in Sacramento at night. The support towers of the bridge are placed in the lower left and right and the upper right thirds of the photo.

_________________________________________

Andrea Semillo of Stockton used an Apple iPhone 6 to photograph her 4-year-old nephew Sam Rabanal in a vineyard off of Woodbridge Road in Lodi. Semillo placed Rabanal in the upper right third of the frame.

_________________________________________

Mike Ratekin of French Camp used a Canon 5D Mark II DSLR camera to photograph his granddaughter Josephine Ceja playing soccer in Manteca. Ceja occupies both the upper and lower right thirds of the frame.

_________________________________________

Don Sperry of Stockton used a Sony Alpha NEX-7 mirrorless digital camera to photograph an egret in Brookside Lake in Stockton. The bird, placed in the right third of the photo, stands out against the dark blue of the water while the reflection of overhead clouds are captured in ripples on the lakes surface.

_________________________________________

All of the photos are in a photo gallery at recordnet.com. A new challenge assignment will be issued on April 5.

This entry was posted in Column, Readers Photo Challenge and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Blog Author

    Clifford Oto

    Clifford Oto, an award-winning photographer, has been with The Record since 1984. Through the changes from black and white to digital photography, he’s kept his focus on covering the events, people and life of San Joaquin county. This blog deals ... Read Full
  • Categories

  • Archives