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Rule of thirds and cropping ... my thoughts

Discussion in 'Photo Critique Forum' started by JRick, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. JRick

    JRick Premium Member

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    long winded so if you’re not in a “read mode”, please scroll on //LOL//

    i’ve read and heard more than a few times that one is good and the other is not
    anyway, please bear with me on this “background” story to read my perspective on both and why i decided on this version

    was having a stroll with my buddy and my dog and saw a cool looking set of old stone steps, so of course i said let’s shoot a few shots there. they were the typical chiseled steps with lots of texture and a bit of moss….the kind we see in a lot of shots.
    - so i positioned the ‘couple’ on camera left with the edge of the steps on camera right since there was a cool post at the base and the leading lines made a nice right side edge. wanted to set a DOF to get both of them sharp but lose some of the background details. overall, a typical rule of thirds composition with some OOF background elements….shot a few shots and we moved on

    later when i was finishing the shots in LR and deciding how to trim, i couldn’t help but notice that even though the shots looked nice and tidy from a technical aspect, what really struck me was how happy the two of them looked, and how, with more elements in the shot, the LESS obvious that would be to a viewer.
    - my result……lose the ‘tidy’ composition and simply show the emotion … aka; ‘crop it’ :)
    - or, using one of my rules : “fill the frame with the image you want to show"

    - i showed this to her a few days later and she really liked it. even printed it large and hung it in the studio and it gets immediate smiles and comments whenever people pass by

    since i am overly picky with portraits, one downside was that they weren’t looking in the same drection; which, to me, would have made it spot on :)
    - my excuse is that it’s hard to direct two subjects to look in the same direction when one is a dog :) to me, that would have made it even nicer, so i think i’ll try the mirror approach next time to help her out and re-shoot this type of shot again.
    - for me, expression in the eyes is a primaryobjective in any portrait, so i’m happy with both of theirs. not looking in the same direction stands out to me, no one has commented they weren’t looking in the same direction. for me it’s the kind of thing that photgraphers notice, but viewers won’t notice unless it WAS shot that way, and then they would have liked it even better //LOL//

    yes,this thought process might apply more to people shots, but i often apply the same philosophy often when shooting landscapes/nature/architecture, etc
    - there is a time and place for wide angle shots to capture magnificent expanses of beauty. especially when magnificent light is adding even more elements to that already beautiful scenery….but not always. in the same ways extreme macro can capture beauty, or just be a technically perfect ‘close up shot’
    - if you don’t feel this applies universally in photography, feel free to jump in with your perspective on how you balance the technical with the aesthetic

    - all this is another reason why i often don’t understand ‘street shots’. i really want to dig into this subject deeper sometime, but that’s a subject for another thread. it came to mind recently on a ‘well liked’ thread where a responder suggested cropping a light out. but it also came up again in a well liked street shot.

    anyway …enuff writing and ranting //lol// … here’s the shot i liked a LOT :
     
    Tara Elizabeth likes this.
  2. JRick

    JRick Premium Member

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    the shot i kept D:Tomohappy.jpg
     
    MA128, rmcnelly, Vikman and 3 others like this.
  3. NewmanX

    NewmanX Premium Member

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    I’m curious to see the one you didn’t keep which is technically better. Any chance of posting it?
     
  4. The Judge

    The Judge Well-Known Member

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    If you're seeking to demonstrate why one decision was made over another, it would help if you showed us examples of both.
     
  5. JRick

    JRick Premium Member

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    for NewmanX i never said i thought the one i didn't keep was technically better :)

    for The Judge feel free to critique the photo i posted however you wish. i provided the background of why i posted this shot and my general thoughts on rule of thirds and cropping in general to start a discussion of the two issues
     

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