Threes | Tuesday Coffee Chat

coffeechat-2Leslie from over at Time out for Mom inquired about our view on the rule of three.They say things come in trees: What is your favourite list of Three Things.

Now professionally speaking from a photographer’s point of view there is, of course, the rule of thirds in a frame. Compose a picture using the golden ration, which actually dates back to the ancient Greek. Simplified speaking, divide the sides of the picture in three equal parts (= nine rectangles) and place your subject, the focal point, along one of the outside lines. No matter if left, top, right or bottom. Well, actually that is not quite true, because it seems to be very pleasing to the viewer if the subject is just on this reference line, and then a liiiitttle bit more, if you want to be perfect. But who wants to be perfect. Rules are there to be broken. And it works in photography, too. Just think reflections or something very geometric e.g. architecture, then it also works very well in equal proportions. Although, in general it is a very good idea to always bear the rule of thirds in mind. A lot of cameras including the iPhone or android phones have the ‘rule-of-thirds-guidelines’. Use them! Not only do they help you develop you eye to, but also keep the horizon straight.

What else, what other threes? Let’s see – personally, there are the three ‘S’es: Sekt (German for bubbly aka Champagne), Sushi and S…., yes, that, too, but I was going to say Sesame Salmon, a recipe that I published here a while ago. And then – wait, there are some more ‘S’es that come instantly to mind and in threes: Summer, sunshine, surfing. All of which I will be enjoying soon – I hope. Never say never, but the plan is to be in the Caribbean very soon. You will notice, because except for iPhone shots (and the scheduled Wordless Wednesday) it is going to get very, very quiet around here for a little while.

And just because I feel like it in this wintery cold I will tease us with a couple of shots taken on Bonaire on previous vacations. Enjoy – until the summer is back here as well!

p.s. notice anything about these pictures and the rule of thirds?

pps. the first three of these pics are available as prints in my shop on Etsy


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12 thoughts on “Threes | Tuesday Coffee Chat”

  1. I love all of your photos! The first & third pictures in this series are my favorites. I love the technique that you used. Did you do this with your camera (setting or lens) or through photo editing? I hope you have a wonderful time in the Caribbean and think of me while you walk barefoot in the sand. Ahh, that sounds so nice! 🙂

  2. When I was editing my latest batch of photos this summer, hubby say my chat was rule of three and asked if I meant the photography principle!! I didn’t even know! So I have been reading up on that very thing this morning. And I can tell by most of your shots of sea and sky — the horizon is basically in the middle of the shot. or at least it divides along one of those grid lines you mentioned. and then the main subject is either left or right at bottom.
    Not sure if I am following these rules – again, if so – happy accident. 🙂
    But mostly I am just oooohhh and aawwwww over the windsurfing shots.

    • Some of the above photos are actually somewhat off. You Ever! Unless possibly if the subject is a reflection. But except for no. 1 they are mostly o.k. If you want pretty good examples look at nos. 2, 5 and 6 🙂 And don’t worry, there will be a point in time, when you watch for this automatically. From what I have seen your photos are so good already…it is amazing.

  3. My hubby is putting together our pictures from our 42 day cruise. he ran out of blue ink yesterday. I suppose that is because every picture has either blue sky or blue water in it. Yours are gorgeous.

  4. Love all these photos, especially the last two – looks so fun. Enjoy your trip and I hope David will stay accident free this time! 🙂 It’s funny when I first started getting into photography and read up on the “rules” etc I realized that some things I had been doing unintentionally all along. I try to use the tools bit usually just go for what I like. 🙂

    • Oh, believe me, Susi, that is one thing we are saying… quite often these days: No accidents or such this time, please!
      I know what you mean about the rules, because it is generally pleasing a lot of people do it automatically, I did, too. And then it becomes an automatism until you start breaking the rule and then… a never ending circle – LOL. Doing what you like is definitely the best.

    • Yes, I totally agree with you, Lady Lilith. I think it is a little bit of a personal development of a photographer. You start out and apply the rule of thirds. At one point it becomes very automatic and you don’t even think about it any more. Soon after you start looking for ways out of the rule 🙂


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