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George

Brora harbour - 7th March '20

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Today it was the rule of thirds. Wandered around the harbour, then along the river bank and up to the bridges before heading to Cocoa Skye for a coffee.  Here was the harbour an hour ago.

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The rule of thirds isn't so much a rule as a guideline. Generally speaking, photos look much better when you use the rule of thirds. This isn't always the case, but when starting out with photography it does make your photos much better.  For example, horizons in scenery. This first shot of the River Brora estuary looking along the coast has the horizon sort of on the half way mark, while the second has the horizon on the bottom third, showing much more sky. It's up to you which third, top or bottom you'd prefer, but do try to keep them off the middle. Note that the horizon is also angled down to the right in the first photo. Try to keep your horizons level.

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One major exception to this rule, of course, would be reflections in still water, when you would want the reflection line across the centre. The reflection of this orange in the still water is just as important as the orange itself, so it's safe to ignore the rule of thirds. However, I have placed the orange on the left vertical third, so I've not ignored the rule altogether, only where it applies to the reflection.

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Here is another example, this time the Cathie II down at the harbour. Although the horizon is on the top horizontal third, this is not a scenery shot, it's a photo of the boat. As the boat is the subject, placing the boat on a third is far more important than placing the horizon on a third. The horizon is also squint in this shot and the top of the mast is missing. This is not a well composed photo.

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In this second photo, I was standing in exactly the same place, and I didn't move or alter my camera settings. I placed the boat on the left vertical third, checked the horizon was level, and made sure the top of the mast was in the shot. By placing the boat on the left third rather than the right third also gives the boat space to sail into. This ensures the boat is sailing into the image rather than out of it.

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Composition has a lot to do with photos. This first photo of the Ice Pool on the River Brora is a total mess. The sky is a washed out and boring, the bare trees jutting into the sky are a mess, there are no thirds used anywhere, I mean, it's just a mess.

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This photo was taken in the same place. All I did was zoom in a bit to compose the image properly. You could do the same with cropping. In this photo, there is no horrid washed out sky, no straggly branches, the rocks on the far bank are on the top horizontal third, the river is flowing through the image rather than popping out of a hole in the middle, which gives the composition more of a sense of movement and purpose, and the reflections make for a pleasing image. Okay, it's not going to win any competitions and I certainly won't be adding this to my professional stock portfolio, but it does serve very nicely to illustrate composition techniques including the rule of thirds.

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I couldn't do a photo walk without at least trying to take one excellent photo, and I think this does the job. The plant is on the right vertical third, and I think the smaller plant on the left balances the image very nicely.

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Posted (edited)

Last week I learned about "horizons" and practiced throughout the week. Today I learned about 'thirds". All my photos are taken with my mobile phone with a 13gb camera.

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Edited by deirdremaclennan4@gmail.co
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Hi Deirdre, and welcome to the forums. Your camera does a good job. It has captured the sky and the texture in the clouds exceptionally well. Looking forward to lots more photo walks with you. Hopefully others will join us as time goes on.

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Posted (edited)

7th March 2018.

Brora waves. Horizon squint... 

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Edited by Deirdre
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I really love the new image ratio! I was going to get you to change from 4:3 to 16:9, but looks like you've already done that. That phone of yours is really quite excellent. The colours are wonderful. Did you take the photo this morning? Or is that one you took yesterday?

I've cropped out the shadowy bit at the bottom for you so you can see how the image looks without it. Try to be conscious of stuff like that and either move closer to get them out of shot or lift the camera a bit or zoom in a bit, or like I did, crop it out later. Cropping out that bottom shadow also moved the horizon down more onto the top horizontal third.

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Took it a year ago yesterday. Yes I will do that in future. Now I have 2 walking poles for such walks. One stick for more mundane surfaces... I will be more adventurous in choice of places to go to take photos at.

The cropping you did makes it look so much better. Thank you. By the way it was the camera that changed the ratio for me. 

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You could probably set your camera phone up to take 16:9 photos, which would be the same ratio as the screen. I would guess it is in camera settings somewhere.

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Oh, and you don't need 13Gb files either, jpgs around 4 or 5 Mb would be perfect, and better for Facebook and Internet sharing and viewing on computers and saving.

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Wow. What about if I want to get photos developed tho'?

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Well, that's different. If you want to keep a photo for a print, you would need a bigger file. But to make every photo a big file is a bit overkill. My professional stock photos are jpgs produced from tiffs, and those jpgs are usually only around 10Mb files (4000 x 2666 pixels).

:classic_laugh:

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45 minutes ago, George said:

 

Ok don't really understand (a bit slow but will learn). 👌🏼

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Your camera is set up perfectly, amazing what you can accomplish on a wee path next to a railway station.

:classic_laugh:

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Posted (edited)

Trying to achieve the style of photo you took with The Caithie 2 photo. But not really managing ha... Is 4.3 better for taking photos of friends and holidays and 16.9 for wider areas eg landscapes?

 

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Edited by Deirdre

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