Day four of #amyshuttphotoaday, a photography project for this month coordinated by Amy Shutt of Amy Shutt Photography, brings us to the rule of thirds. This photographic rule - more like a guideline for interesting composition - involves placing the main point(s) of interest in your photos at the off-center intersections of an imaginary symmetric 4-line grid. See here for more examples.
While I sometimes break the rule of thirds, I most often pay attention to it in my shots. At least I work on not placing my subjects dead center. It helps to move your selected auto-focus point (when you are using spot focusing, which I always use) off-center in your viewfinder.
I took the shot above for the rule of thirds. If we look closely though, the largest Hedera helix 'Gold Child' Ivy leaf in the foreground isn't quite at the center of a "rule of thirds" intersection. I've overlaid the rule of thirds grid-lines (in yellow) over this image below. The leaf and the fence posts, on the other hand, roughly follow a Fibonacci spiral overlaid on the image in black. The golden rule for the 'Gold Child' ivy fence? Beautifully fitting, even if accidental.
The sharp fence posts are juxtaposed by the warm yellow ivy, which softens the inanimate structure. I tried shooting the fence straight on, but angling the shot gave the photo more depth in my opinion.
For the shot above, I used a 40mm lens on my Canon 5D Mark III, an ISO of 100, a large aperture at f/2.8, and a shutterspeed of 1/400 seconds. A light grey light from the overcast sky washed the posts in a diffuse white light, providing rich colors for the greenery in the background and the bright yellow ivy in the foreground.
I'll leave you with a few runner-ups for the rule of thirds:
Here's a little science on the rule of thirds and the Golden rule.
Come back tomorrow for the theme "water"!