The Rule of Third (1/3) with landscape or skyline photography.

Skyline and architecture photograph
Skyline and architecture photograph © Patrice Laborda

Here is a good example of a skyline photography combined with an architecture photography.

I wanted, the boat to "pop up", but i wanted also to keep some element about its situation and location.


As you can see, the "boat" on the top of the building is on one of the four very strong point in the photography, making it being see the first by your eyes.


The building itself is on the vertical line of the rule of third, a very strong line, making it a strong element of the photograph.

The view of the sea port below, is all inside the bottom third, respecting the rule of third by full filling the bottom third of this photograph and giving to the photograph, the situation (it's high) and location.

The most common, if not always, mistake in the photography composition is to put the subject right in the middle of the photograph, in landscape photography, it's the horizon the most common mistake of the beginner photographer, same mistake, people put the horizon right in the middle when it's not also tilted.


Often those mistake come from the lack of decision from the photographer, they want to put as much as possible in the composition.


You cannot put all or everything in a photograph! Unless you want a boring picture with many disturbing elements were at the end, you got an empty snapshot full of ... nothing, you have to take decisions!

Picture of a landscape were the sky have an important place
Picture of a landscape were the sky have an important place © Patrice Laborda

In this example on the left side, A landscape photograph (some might want to call it seascape, but whatever) where i took the decision to give more space to the sky because of the clouds.


As you can see, i didn't put the horizon in the middle of the picture, but on the line delimiting the rule of third, 2/3rd of sky and 1/3 rd with boats and people.


Is it a bad picture? Not at all, because by taking the decision to not cut the picture in half with the horizon line in the middle of the photograph, i clearly took off the mitigated feeling of the "may be more sky, may be more land/sea", you know this feeling that the picture is wonderful but ... we feel, it miss, something we don't know.

Also as you can see on the green circle at the crossing lines, i put people and boats in a way to fit this rule of third vertical line, a very strong line in this photograph.


By crossing the horizontal line of the horizon, this zone become extremely strong (the 2 rectangles below) and help to counterbalance the isolated guy walking other side.

Now you take this isolated guy in the yellow circle, and where is he ? You want a hint ? Take just the rectangle defined by the rule of third red lines ... this guy is in the rule of third inside this rectangle, and it's for that plus his isolated position that he's catching the attention too (yes i agree i got lucky).


Here was a good example of where to put subject and object in the composition of a photograph, but you do not need to be very, very precise. In a real life world you will most likely work by zone, it's easier and simplest, but you need to be in the rule of third.

 You might also be interested with the last entry in the blog:

Photophone: How to do great pictures with a smartphone or a tablet.

How to take great pictures with a smartphone
How to take great pictures with a smartphone?

Nowadays our smartphones have more computer power than a 10 years old desktop computer. Technology is evolving fast and with it, the language acquiring new words like  smartphone or selfie.

We are doing everything with our phone, from a GPS assistant to photograph or record a movie in full 1080p HD, even post processing those images, and i don't even speak about playing 3D games, read some news on internet and so on...


At the end, when we compare how we use our phone the most, in percentage, I can say safely that we barely use it to call someone, and this is why i call mine a photophone.

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