Forgotten in its old age

by Aditya

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22

Q: When is it OK to place the subject in the middle of a picture? A: Whenever you feel that it works best! The general rule of not centering your subject is time-honored, and comes from one basic idea: the center of an image is a stable, straightforward place. When you put something there visually, it stays there visually, usually resulting in a static ...


13

The reason you see conflicting information when researching is because these rules are slippery. None of them have a strong backing in science, and their history in aesthetics is less important than in popular myth. There's no evidence whatsoever that anyone used the golden ratio in art before the 20th century, but people have heard the story so many times ...


13

The most important thing to remember is that the rule of thirds is more like what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. Even if you're familiar with the rule, I suggest refreshing yourself on the background of the rule of thirds and where it comes from. It contains less ancient wisdom than many people assume. So, since there's no hard and fast rule, ...


8

@mattdm has given a nice overview. I'll add some specific situations where middle might turn out to give the best composition: When you have a subject looking straight at camera and no directional lighting, placing the subject to a side would often feel synthetic. Especially so with a tighter crop. Your photo is an example of this category. Photos with ...


6

Composition You should try some variations having in mind "rule of thirds". All of these photographs seem to have the horizon somewhere in the middle. Placing it in the lower (especially with 1, 2 and 4, because I find the clouds to be quite dramatic) or upper third might help. Also, when shooting landscapes, don't be afraid to shoot in portrait ...


3

Those rules (and many more like them) are not actually rules, they are are more of an OK starting point. That is, if you don't have any unique composition that works well with your current scene than placing the subject at about 1/3 of the way (or on the golden ratio line, a diagonal, triangle, etc.) in will create a more interesting image than if it's at ...


3

When talking about the alignment of the subject in the frame, I'll take this as the prime example of the kind of composition where not centering your subject will result in a more pleasing picture. The major factor in composing this image is the balance. When I see your photo, I feel like I'm teetering on a point in the middle, and could fall either way ...


2

If upper branches of a tree are more important, use the bottom line. If on shot you have nice shadow of this tree, use upper. This is dependant on your subject. Here my simple sample, if somebody don't know how tree looks ;) Here is "like a" rule of third sample, because pure rule is mostly boring.


2

There are even more options. Horizon may be diagonal, vertical, it may be upside down. As Matt said, please do not consider any "rules" to be rules for yourself :) One more thing: if the horizon is just slightly non-horizontal, it often grabs viewers' attention and "feels awkward". I'm not saying it's a bad thing but it may take viewer's attention off from ...


2

I agree with both replies above, but I would advise you to get to the same level as your subject before you depress the trigger, unless you really want something special of course. Kids and animals look a lot better when one gets down on his knees :)


1

They are less rules and more guidelines. If you are inexperience with composition then following the guidelines and looking at how others followed or broke the rules will aid you in becoming a better photographer. Depending on the shot it may be better to not follow the rules, but until one is more experienced both shooting and having critically evaluated ...



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