Breaking The Rules

A single Pine Cone stands out from beneath three Pine trees in western Montana.

A single Pine Cone stands out from beneath three Pine trees in western Montana.

Rules were meant to be broken.  That is a phrase that you may have heard once or twice in your life.  What specific rule of photography have I broken in the photo that starts this blog post?

Most photographers will immediately say the Rule of Thirds, indicating that the Pine Cone would probably be better if it was not in the exact center third of this photograph.  The Rule of Thirds cuts the frame into equal thirds vertically and horizontally, the subject can be placed anywhere in those thirds.  Most photographers may argue and say the main subject or element should not be in the exact center.  The reason for placing the subject or element some where else is to guide the viewer to more of the photo, create or emphasize the other elements, or other reasons.

If you look at the other thirds you will see why I have chosen to place the Pine Cone in the exact center.The right third of the photo contains the following elements; a trunk of a tree, tree branches, blue sky, Pine needles, and the blue water of a lake.  The left third of the photo contains the following elements; a trunk of a different tree, tree branches, blue sky, Pine needles. and the blue water of a lake.  The center third of the photo contains the majority of the Pine Cone, which is the main element. This photo is balanced and the Pine Cone in the exact center pulls your eye there; while still giving you an appealing composition that includes so many of the other elements that are balanced on both sides of this photograph.

Other photographers most likely would have spent much more time with placing the Pine Cone in one of the other thirds, or even at an intersecting point.  They would have spent many minutes adjusting their camera position so the Pine Cone would not be in the exact center.  That is the great thing about general rules of photography; once you know and understand the rules you are free to interpret the rules as you have chosen.  As the photographer you decide what will work for your photograph.

How would you have photographed this Pine Cone?  Would you have placed it in the right or left third?  Perhaps the upper or lower third would have been a better placement of the Pine Cone?  Or would you have placed it at an intersecting point?  Do you ever break the Rule of Thirds?  When was the last time you broke general rules in your photography?  Why do you think it is important to break the general rules of photography at times?

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About Douglas Wilks Photography

I am an advanced photographer who lives in western Montana. I create a variety of strong images using a DSLR, computer, and digital software. I am available for hire for full time, part time, or projects. Most of my images are of landscapes, still life, and events. I am always looking to improve my skills, network of friends and professionals, and portfolio. I look forward to creating new friends, contacts, and others who are interested in photography.
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