The Rule of Thirds is possibly the most well known ‘rule’ or guideline in photography, painting and other visual arts and it is normally one of the first subjects discussed in any class. 
The guideline proposes that an image should be imagined as being divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that the important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections.  Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject.

I say maybe.
I treat this guideline as a starting point as any rule can be broken – and I quite like doing things a little differently.

Welcome to our garden.  And this week we say hello to my dogs.
It’s summer here and we have long hot evenings.  We took the Lix, Nixie and Bogie the Hammer, into the garden last night and played stick games and in the swimming pool with them.  I wanted to take a few photographs of Bogie so I could choose one to be printed and added to my wall in my studio and I’ll never not photograph Nixie as I think she’s just stunning.

I’ve chosen to process these photographs in black and white. To purely concentrate on the rules, or lack thereof, and their beautiful faces and expressions.  So firstly, the rule.
The left side is how the photograph should probably be cropped, or one of the ways it could be, in order to adhere to the rule. And the right would be the result. Its okay, she’s pretty, I like it. But I think there’s more of a story in less foliage and realigning the photograph.
 

 

Its the realigning that breaks the guidelines but makes the photograph. I think. Less foliage at the sides and more on top tells me that Nix is cooling down in her favourite spot, one of my large shrubs. This is how I will realign and crop it and following that, what the final result is.

Anyhow, enough talking of breaking the rules!!
Let’s see what we can make when we follow it. As I said, I wanted a few photographs of young Mr Bogatron, Bogielicious, Bobo, so I could print and frame some for my office wall. He’s nowhere near Nixie modeling stage but with a bit more practice, he’ll get there.

His right eye sits beautifully on one of the grid lines and because he’s a good boy, he’s leaning ever so slightly that way. Treats for you Bogie!

Then there’s Nix. There must be a reward for her to spend too long in front of the camera. Luckily it was a beautiful night and she got hours of stick games. And her younger brother trying to bite her ear but that’s a story for another post.

And finally, a little more Bogie. Because I like my photographs to be more life and less still. And summer evening light is just so beautiful. The first one is already being printed and framed and it will be on my wall as soon as its delivered. Can’t wait!

I realise these black and whites are quite different to the portrait photographs I create for most of my clients – and also to what you see in other portfolios – but this is a style I really enjoy.  Stripping photographs back to subjects and shadows.  Not just golden light and gorgeous locations.

Project 52 is a weekly circle project so from here, use the following link to hop over and visit Sarah Forde, Pet photographer located in the San Francisco Bay Area specializing in outdoor portraits to see what they have created, and then keep visiting the other blogs until you end up back here.

Happy Friday y’all X

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