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The Rule of Odds - what does it mean, and when should you use it? Share your photos!
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Aug 25, 2018 21:57:08   #
E.L.. Shapiro (a regular here)
 
I have studied the “rules of composition” for a lot of years but still have difficulty in compositing by “template”, diagrams or mathematical formula. I studied with a great photographer, Frank Kristen who wrote a great book on compositional principles- a thesis! I sat through 3 intensive seminars with Gerhard Bakker who we used to call Mr. Composition. I think, after a while, I GOT IT! I still, however, have trouble TEACHING this area of photography by rules or geometric patterns. It came to a point where I just told folks to move things or people around if they are movable or move the camera around and when it looks good- SHOOT IT! Of course foreground framing and using strong geometric shapes are usually good plans for strong compositions.

I have all the diagrams, mostly from Frank's book and the funny thing is that they work for me in reverse. Rather than attempting to fit things into theses patterns, I find when scrutinizing my own work, analyzing and admiring the successful images of others and critiquing students work- much of the time the better shots somehow conform to the diagrams- after the fact.

Being a city boy and not getting out to the countryside to shoot landscapes very often, when I am not working in the studio or on the road, sometimes I just cruse the neighborhood looking for geometric patterns. In group of three or more folks or items, triangles to create triangles- I big on triangles!

No too sophisticated gang. Sorry- that's all I got on this one. Rule of Odds- I guess I am just and ODD person!

I'll post some of my triangles from my phone collection. It it Willy nelson that sang “On the Road Again””!

Regards, Ed

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Aug 25, 2018 22:00:13   #
RichardTaylor (a regular here)
 
E.L.. Shapiro wrote:
I have studied the “rules of composition” for a lot of years but still have difficulty in compositing by “template”, diagrams or mathematical formula. I studied with a great photographer, Frank Kristen who wrote a great book on compositional principles- a thesis! I sat through 3 intensive seminars with Gerhard Bakker who we used to call Mr. Composition. I think, after a while, I GOT IT! I still, however, have trouble TEACHING this area of photography by rules or geometric patterns. It came to a point where I just told folks to move things or people around if they are movable or move the camera around and when it looks good- SHOOT IT! Of course foreground framing and using strong geometric shapes are usually good plans for strong compositions.

I have all the diagrams, mostly from Frank's book and the funny thing is that they work for me in reverse. Rather than attempting to fit things into theses patterns, I find when scrutinizing my own work, analyzing and admiring the successful images of others and critiquing students work- much of the time the better shots somehow conform to the diagrams- after the fact.

Being a city boy and not getting out to the countryside to shoot landscapes very often, when I am not working in the studio or on the road, sometimes I just cruse the neighborhood looking for geometric patterns. In group of three or more folks or items, triangles to create triangles- I big on triangles!

No too sophisticated gang. Sorry- that's all I got on this one. Rule of Odds- I guess I am just and ODD person!

I'll post some of my triangles from my phone collection. It it Willy nelson that sang “On the Road Again””!

Regards, Ed
I have studied the “rules of composition” for a lo... (show quote)


Thanks Ed.

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Aug 25, 2018 22:08:02   #
E.L.. Shapiro (a regular here)
 
Triangles?


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Aug 25, 2018 22:33:30   #
RichardTaylor (a regular here)
 
E.L.. Shapiro wrote:
Triangles?


Good set, and I especially like the people photographs.

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Aug 25, 2018 23:34:50   #
dennis2146 (a regular here)
 
Linda From Maine wrote:
Even after reading those articles, I don't know why I prefer the second, I just do


Linda the larger silo on the Left tends to not only give balance to the photo but also adds a point of interest. Without the larger silo the others need to either be centered or to the left or right. But then there would be no balance. Too much negative space to one side or the other. So the larger silo gives balance.

Dennis

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Aug 25, 2018 23:36:53   #
E.L.. Shapiro (a regular here)
 
RichardTaylor wrote:
Good set, and I especially like the people photographs.


Thanks Richard! Portraitire is my first love in photography. People are more fun than things!

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Aug 26, 2018 07:30:56   #
Linda From Maine
 
E.L.. Shapiro wrote:
Triangles?
Thank you so much for your time and fantastic photos, Ed! Thanks to earlier conversations, I have learned in this thread that "couples" photos need to be thought of in the larger context of total elements in the frame, such as your couple with the book (from a religious ceremony, or renewing marriage vows, I think you mentioned?).

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Aug 26, 2018 07:31:42   #
Linda From Maine
 
dennis2146 wrote:
Linda the larger silo on the Left tends to not only give balance to the photo but also adds a point of interest. Without the larger silo the others need to either be centered or to the left or right. But then there would be no balance. Too much negative space to one side or the other. So the larger silo gives balance.

Dennis
Thanks so much for your visit and observations, Dennis!

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Aug 26, 2018 11:41:28   #
Tex-s
 
Linda From Maine wrote:
Inspired by a comment ebrunner made in his "Sunflowers" topic

As with most (all?) "rules" of composition, it's helpful to know the why, as well as to know when to ignore. Click here to see the list of articles I use for the below bullets.

Why use three:
- framing your subject with two objects suggests balance and harmony

- three objects in a frame tend to form a triangle or line, both considered pleasurable shapes

- Having an odd number of things in a composition means your eye and brain can't pair them up or group them easily. There's somehow always one thing left over, which keeps your eyes moving across the composition.



Please feel free to include photos as part of your discussion. Many thanks!
Inspired by a comment ebrunner made in his "S... (show quote)


My brother actually took a photo-journalism class in high school (or college.... I'm 8 years older, so I'm not sure). To this day he mumbles "thirds thirds thirds" while he looks through the camera. I shot this one just to give to him and title the email "Abusing the rule of thirds". Darned if I did not end up really liking the image overall.


(Download)

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Aug 26, 2018 11:44:04   #
Linda From Maine
 
Tex-s wrote:
My brother actually took a photo-journalism class in high school (or college.... I'm 8 years older, so I'm not sure). To this day he mumbles "thirds thirds thirds" while he looks through the camera. I shot this one just to give to him and title the email "Abusing the rule of thirds". Darned if I did not end up really liking the image overall.
Thanks for the visit, Tex! The rule of odds in the rule of thirds - what could be better?

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Aug 26, 2018 22:48:30   #
repleo (a regular here)
 
E.L.. Shapiro wrote:
Triangles?


Wonderful photos Ed.

I couldn't help noticing the golden /Fabinacci spiral within the composition of your beautiful portrait of the family. As I said in a post above, the golden spiral can be very effective with small groups, allowing for a very natural but 'together' composition. I hope you don't mind me cropping your image to demonstrate.



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Aug 26, 2018 23:10:43   #
E.L.. Shapiro (a regular here)
 
repleo wrote:
Wonderful photos Ed.

I couldn't help noticing the golden /Fabinacci spiral within the composition of your beautiful portrait of the family. As I said in a post above, the golden spiral can be very effective with small groups, allowing for a very natural but 'together' composition. I hope you don't mind me cropping your image to demonstrate.


Yup! Crop away! I post theses images for discussion and analysis. That overlay is right out of the book. COOL!


(Download)

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Aug 27, 2018 07:49:41   #
Linda From Maine
 
repleo wrote:

I couldn't help noticing the golden /Fabinacci spiral within the composition of your beautiful portrait of the family. As I said in a post above, the golden spiral can be very effective with small groups, allowing for a very natural but 'together' composition. I hope you don't mind me cropping your image to demonstrate.
Great observation, Phil!

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