Seeing In thirds? *Looks Confused*

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Moshiiii, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. Moshiiii macrumors 6502a

    Moshiiii

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    #1
    I've got a few photography shots due next week, I've nailed most of them, but I'm having so much truble with one.
    The teacher calls it "Seeing in Thirds".
    He says to put grids on your display and when the verticale grids intersect with the horizontal grids this should be where your subject is. So mostly the subject should be top right or top left.
    I went out shooting and experienced alot of annoyance because I wasnt pulling off the seeing in thirds right.
    Attached is one attempt, I was planning to use it but when I got home I noticed there was a moth in the bottom left corner of the picture.

    Also just a lil question. When did you guys think it was the appropriate time to change to point and shoot to DSLR? I have a Cannon P&S and I get really great pictures from it. Theres a few kids in my class with Cannon Rebels and D2's and some Nikons and from looking at there photos I can really tell they started using a DSLR before playing around with a P&S.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #2
    I'm not sure what you're asking about the Rule of Thirds. Look at this picture on Wikipedia:

    [​IMG]

    (Source)

    See the grid that they make? The point is that the attention is naturally drawn in a rectangular picture to those lines, and especially to the intersection between two lines. So those are good places to put your focus spot and your target.

    A couple of dangers:

    1) Either be prepared to crop your image afterwards (if you don't feel the need to work in a standard aspect ratio, when you do crop an image, you can try cropping it in such a way that the rule of thirds is preserved), or make sure you know what your viewfinder and/or screen is showing you, since it is not always the full frame.

    2) It's a guideline. It's not always the right thing to do. But it's better than putting the focus, say, in the center of the image.

    If it's okay to copy your image and make marks on it, I'll show you some thoughts of mine... with which everyone else will promptly disagree. :D
     
  3. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #3
    the rule of thirds, or w/e you would like to call it, is a mental fairy.

    when you take a photo the fairy whispers in your ear about the composition of the shot.

    you dont need a grid on your camera, and you certainly dont need one in your mind.

    the little fairy takes care of it all, that is, once you learn to listen.
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #4
    I think this little fairy is related to the one that tells you to buy Apple products. God, those fairies are good. :eek:
     
  5. Coheebuzz macrumors 6502

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    #5
    The rule of thirds is related to the golden ratio which when followed in photography, design, architecture etc can result in much more aesthetically pleasing images and structures. It's more of a guideline than a rule but most of the times you can get more balanced pictures by following it.

    Here is a wiki that explains it much better than i did.

    You are taking a photography class so i would recommend a DSLR as soon as possible so you can put what you learn into action. Point and shoots rely on auto settings so they are hiding the philosophy of taking photos. Am surprised that your teacher allows p&s's in the class!
     
  6. Moshiiii thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Moshiiii

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    #6
    Majority of the students have P&S's, Kid next to me is rocking a 2mp really old sony.
    But When i started the class i keep my settings on auto, but now I mess around ALOT with shutter speeds, iso, and f stops.
     
  7. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #7
    The rule of thirds is a basic principle of composition in all forms of visual art. You don't really need a physical guideline (as others already said) to pull it off. It's just something that seems to occur in just about every successful composition. You could have your subject right in the middle on one axis, even, so long as it's a third up, down, or to one side.
     
  8. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #8
    That's a philosophy of using a camera, not taking photos.

    Taking photos should be about capturing whatever you see in an expressive way so that other people can understand it.

    You can take great photos with an old Kodak Brownie, even though they won't be great technically.
     
  9. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

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    Jan 1, 2007
    #9
    Actually, your picture is very interesting. You have two points the eye is drawn to--the top right and the bottom left. I like it. Even if it was accidental, it's good.



    I personally love shooting with an slr (I shoot film...well, did. my slr's motor jsut jammed, so I'm screwed for a while until I can get a new pentax body, and since this camera is old as stink, I'm not gonna have much luck :) ) because of the adjustable settings and the super fast shooting speed. I cannot stand waiting a second for the camera to focus and take a picture: I need it FAST! This is especially important with wildlife or candid shots. Many PnS's now do have adjustable settings, like aperture, so I wouldn't hate it too much, I suppose.
     
  10. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #10
    While some of the greatest award winning shots have been on crap cameras, it goes without saying that as a learning tool a PnS is a P.O.S.

    No ifs ands or buts about it.

    While the rule "you take the photo, not the camera" always applies, you cant really learn a damn thing on PnS vs an SLR.

    You have to learn the rules to break them.

    PnS doesnt even tell you the rules, it just does what it wants.

    if your teacher allows PnS in class, he/she isnt teaching the basics behind photography, and most likely just how to take nice photos. which is something good to learn, but honestly, id rather learn how a photo is taken by a camera, than just how to compose a shot
     
  11. matt311rocks macrumors newbie

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    #11
    A point and shoot camera is NOT inherently taking the picture for you. There are many compact cameras that are aimed at the point and shoot market but also have full manual features. Sure many of these cameras may limit you in that you don't have interchangeable lenses, some more advanced image parameter settings, etc. I used a sony f717 for awhile before I got a D50 and while I wouldn't call it a P&S, it's defiantly not a DSLR and I still use it for certain situations over by D50. If your "P&S" camera has manual and you use it then you are learning a great deal, which you said you were. Bottom line it's not your camera it's your method...well I guess to a point. So if you have the money and want a camera with more versatility then by all means get a DSLR but it's not necessary. As for the rule of thirds, I usually never think about it while shooting. Think about what you're shooting. What do you want to convey about the subject? Other's have explained the rule, but what I am trying to say is you don't have to forget the rule of thirds, but don't always think in the rule of thirds.
     
  12. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #12
    It's about art, which is something a lot of "photographers" can't handle.

    You can see a lot of photographs that have perfect exposure, etc. but lack anything truly interesting. In the digital age, they don't even have to have perfect exposure, they can be fixed.

    A lot of "photographers" are just about parading their equipment and acting superior.
     
  13. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I think the big difference has to do with our defitions--there are tons of cameras out there now that look like a dslr, like the Minolta Dimage, but aren't. Those generally have many manual settings on them, so you can get creative. by PnS I think we mean something without settings that can be easily changed from shot to shot. In other words, if you have to go through 4 menus screens to change your aperture, that's not easy to change. PnS cameras can get good pictures, but they don't give you the same artistic liberty. However, any limiting factor is only something to get over, and many people in history have made their weakness their strength.

    I still tend to hold that PnS cameras are much better for catalogueing events, like family vacations, and dslr's are for when you've got time to compose a shot, change your mind, bracket the shot and then edit a single picture for half an hour--not exactly what you do with family vacation photos. :)

    You don't have to think in the rule of thirds as long as you find that your shots are composed well. Is the eye drawn somewhere? Does it give you a headache? (first is good, second is bad.) That's what the viewfinder is for--to let you compose your shot.
     
  14. mkaake macrumors 65816

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    #14
    With some PnS, I'd tend to agree... but there are plenty out there that have a full set of controls, where the same techniques and settings would be used that you'd find on a DSLR. At that point, it comes down to menu setup, framing the photo with an optical viewfinder vs an LCD, and the ability to actually use high ISO photos.

    Well, and having wider (And better) assortment of lenses to use.


    Just needed to point that out, as I started out with Canon P&S, and learned how to take pictures in full manual mode on a 'crappy' P&S camera. The lessons learned don't change because suddenly your choosing your variables on an SLR...
     
  15. Coheebuzz macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I completely agree with your statement, however the problem with most P&S's is that they don't let you control the vary basics of photography like depth or field or shutter speed.

    It's like expecting someone learning how to drive on a simulator rather than the real thing. Anyone who is just a bit serious about photography should at least understand and control the basic elements, like playing with light and depth.

    And a good picture needs good equipment, you can't deny that... perhaps am looking at it at my point of view as a designer who *needs* quality in photos and p&s's can't deliver that.

    Finally and to my strongest point, taking a pic while looking at the LCD screen makes people look retarded for some reason...

    ... i've done it too i admit it. :eek: :D
     
  16. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

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    #16
    So, how about a quick test? Which of these photos was shot with PnS, which with SLR? Some where shot with each, it's no trick question. I don't know how close you can zoom in, but don't--the film ones obviously have some grain :) Jus by looking at the image on this page, can you tell whcih is from which camera?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Coheebuzz macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Not everyone likes to see photos at such a small size and only on the computer monitor. Give me the full sized originals and i'll tell you which ones are what in a glance.
     
  18. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

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    #18
  19. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

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    #19
    ExtPointofView copy.jpg
    no more moth :D
    heck with thirds, learn photoshop. Much better.
     
  20. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #20
    I'm terrible with a point and shoot and I grew up with viewfinder cameras. I did better with 110 film cameras than digital point and shoot cameras, though. My first digital camera in 1997 had basically one choice: take the shot or not.

    Today's point and shoots, even the cheap models, have lots of options. They have scene modes to help you select aperture priority, shutter priority, adjust the EV values for sand and snow, etc. So while you don't know the actual numbers happening, you're using them.

    In a lot of ways, it's like Object-oriented programming where you concentrate on the problem, rather than how to get there.

    A good photo doesn't need good equipment but powerful equipment captures the essence of the scene more precisely. I think one of my aunts said it best: "You can almost reach out and touch the flowers." A typical point and shoot will give you a nice photo of the flowers but it's not like being there.
     
  21. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #21
    Those aren't the _basics_ of photography, they're the basics of camera operation. You can learn composition and even lighting (though granted, not a full-on course) with a P&S and a couple of reflectors. Once you've got those down, a tool that will help you isolate your subject, capture motion the way you want to see it and shoot in challenging conditions is a very good next step.

    Actually, you can deny that- good art is good art regardless of the tool used to create it. All the equipment in the world won't get you a good shot if you can't use it well but a good photographer can get the shot with a bad tool and still have a perfectly acceptable result. Good tools just make craftsmanship easier and more exact in the hands of the right craftsman.

    Funny how Canon thinks the mkIII needs that "liveview" feature then, isn' it?

    Evern wonder how many folks with DSLRs never take it off of full-auto mode?
     
  22. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #22
    My S3 IS isn't an SLR, but i can get full manual control of it; focus, shutter speed, aperture, iso, white balance, etc.

    still, i can't wait to get a 400D :D
     
  23. ecksmen macrumors member

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    #23
    Yeah, exif does tell you a lot!
     
  24. Coheebuzz macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I don't need the EXIF data, i just need to open them up in Photoshop and look at them at 100%.

    I think i didn't make myself clear enough, I don't have a problem with P&S's that have manual controls, i was talking about those who are fully automatic.
    I have taken many good shots with my old P&S's but i always wished that they were better quality so they could be used in printing rather than just staring them on the screen.

    You are all right saying that the camera should be something 'transparent' for the photographer, that lets him capture that great moment as he sees it, however there are too many variables with current photo technology.

    Sometimes i don't want to capture a scene as my eyes see it but rather play with these variables and take a photo as my mind sees it.

    And while i agree that good art is good art regardless of the tool, but that's only true to a point. You need a fairly good and expensive brush to get best results when painting, and good pencils when you draw. I've been doing it all my life and you can't convince me that i can do what i want with a $2 plastic-haired brush.
     
  25. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

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    #25

    If printed on a 4x6, you cannot tell a difference in quality between my images. The PnS ones are from a 5mp something or other of my mom's that I borrowed now that my slr died. I have nothing else to shoot with, so it has to make do. I hate it: no manual settings, it drives me nuts. But, I can compose a good shot and it takes good pictures.

    If you blew them up even, I think all of my picturse up there have similar quality.
     

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