Sunday, 13 January 2008

Should we always follow the "Rules of Thirds"?

The rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb in photography and other visual arts such as painting. Its application is also essential to the field of design. 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. Proponents of this technique claim that aligning a photograph with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the photo than simply centering the feature would.
-- from Wikipedia.

It is often suggested that the rule ensures that better photographic composition can be achieved if followed. True, I am not going to dispute this at all. However, after shooting thousands of shots of people while applying this rule, I find that my photos are starting to look very similar. I can't really fault anything with this rules except that sticking with this rule rigidly mean that we might end up with shots that are technically correct but not necessary that interesting.

Of course, often people would suggest that breaking this rule is ok. For me, I think that sometimes rules are meant to be broken, but it is necessary to grasp the understanding of the rules before one should venture to break them. As for the Rules of Thirds, yes, they help photographers in capturing balanced, easy-on-the-eye pictures, but they often lead to uninterested, and often identical images.

Fundamentally, I think certain things should almost always remain at the thirds, however, some things should never ever need to be at the thirds. Then again, photography is form of art and all arts are subjective isn't it?

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