Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rule of Thirds

At Digital Photography School, this week's assignment involves the Rule of Thirds.

Basically, to take more interesting photos, or design more interesting paintings, tapestries, or wall quilts, divide the area into thirds vertically and horizontally. Position lines and items of interest along those divisions. (Really - go read the description at the link!! They explain it and give great examples!! I do not!)

I've often thought the view out our front window is appealing because the horizon and edge of the lawn end up positioned according to the rule of thirds in the window.

I also tried shooting pictures of the front of our yard - our driveway is the farthest away in this photo. The tree line and snow line somewhat follow the rule of thirds, but not strictly.

Walking through our house, I could find numerous examples of textile design that did follow the rule of thirds. For example, this batik elephant from Morocco is divided in thirds.

The huck dishtowels that I've just started on my loom (designed by Rosalie Neilson), follow the rule of thirds.

This prayer rug from Istanbul also follows the rule of thirds.

This wall quilt, designed by Gai Perry, is divided into six rows (2 rows of border and 4 rows of blocks), so maybe it's a variant of the rule of thirds.

I can see that the rule of thirds is used in textile design. It probably would help me take better photographs of some subjects. But I don't feel like I fully appreciate the rule of thirds at the moment.

Jim (my husband - and our official vacation photographer) says he does keep the rule of thirds in mind when he shoots outdoor photos. Maybe that's one of the strongest uses of that composition strategy.

I know, I'll go look through other people's Rule of Thirds Photos and see if that helps me understand it better!


Lynnette said...

It's always amazing that all over the world, the same rules of beauty apply....who knew it was the rule of thirds....I'm definately going to bear that in mind when I plan my next project.

Janet said...

Woosh, there goes another happy hour spent perusing the DPS site. Thanks for pointing me to it again!

Gwen said...

Very interesting post! My husband and I used to be into photography, and there were just a few rules - like the rule of thirds - that make all the difference in whether a picture is interesting or flat... I hadn't thought of it in terms of textile designs - but now that you mention it, it's obvious!