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Photography Challenge





11A. Rule of thirds. (link to comment) If I could teach one thing in photography that would be most helpful to photographers, it would be to utilize the rule of thirds. It is also helpful to digital scrapbookers in creating layouts. It also makes me see the world a different way and appreciate it more.

The photography challenge today is to go out and take sample photos of the same object, first centering the object, and second using the rule of thirds rule.

The rule of thirds can be applied in so many ways in digital scrapbooking! Photography techniques is just one way. It can be utilized in layouts in the placement of photos on the page, in the placement of elements of type on a page, and in the placement of colors on a page. It is always best to have the same color in a triangle on a page. Can you share with me some more ways?

In photography, the rule of thirds uses a nine block grid. My camera actually has the nine block grid on it if I want to display and use it. Does yours?

Did you know PSE also has a nine block grid you can utilize? It can be found under the custom shape tool. Draw the shape on a layer with the mouse and resize it to either help in cropping a single photo or resize it as large as the entire layout to help in the placements of photos and elements.

Subjects placed at any of the four intersections of the lines in the nine block grid make for an artistic image. The concept is to place what you want to be the focal point on an intersection on the grid.

We so often get stuck in the rut of always centering things---get out of your rut!

Here are the sample photos I took last weekend for this challenge.


I used the Photoshop Elements custom shape tool to place a nine square grid on each photo so that you can see how the rule of thirds was applied. In the first, third, second, and fifth samples, I placed the focal point on an intersection. In the fourth sample, the focal point is within the left block entirely.

Pay attention to the placement of eyes for artistic effects. For instance, place the eyes at one of the intersections or off to one side or the other of the grid. When taking photos of people, the eyes are generally the focal point.

A fun technique in layouts is to utilize the open space on a photo that was taken using the rule of thirds by placing journaling, titles, or elements in the space next to the subject. (ie. the child is to the right with a great amount of the photo background of trees; place text in the tree area.) Another method is to use the heavy weighted side of the photo on the edge of the layout and counterweight it with elements on the other side.

Of course, sometimes rules are meant to be broken. For instance, close-ups often are not applicable to the rule.



Here are your images!



Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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