Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Photography
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-12-2011, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
37,809 posts, read 41,104,019 times
Reputation: 62240

Advertisements

I'm perplexed by some photography rules that are applied some of the time by judges and sometimes ignored. The rule of three bothers me most of all. Birds frequently travel in pairs, for example. Mourning Doves and bluebirds immediately come to mind. Why must I only have one or three in a photo? I want to ask, when you take your pro wedding photos, who in the wedding party do you throw into the shot with the newlyweds so you can satisfy the rule of 3? So why do I have to do it with other people photos (say two men jackhammering the street or two players with a soccer ball, for example) or wildlife photos? What the technical difference between a people couple and an animal couple?

Another one - "You want to see the eyes." Well, for example, the guy is a squinty eyed varmint. His whole bad guy personality comes from squinting. It's a candid shot, not a posed one.

Another one - The bird/animal can't be just perched/sitting there. It has to be doing something to be considered "good." Well, how many times do you stick your human model/subject in a chair looking yonder? Do you hand them a pair of knitting needles or a book so they can be "doing something" when you photograph them? So why do animals/birds have to be "doing something?"

You have any photography rules that bug you?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-12-2011, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Covington County, Alabama
259,024 posts, read 90,770,195 times
Reputation: 138568
No. I even argued with my college professor over rules and made him see the light and won. Like Sinatra sang "I did and do it my way".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-13-2011, 04:02 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
10,218 posts, read 17,935,984 times
Reputation: 13938
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
I'm perplexed by some photography rules that are applied some of the time by judges and sometimes ignored. The rule of three bothers me most of all. Birds frequently travel in pairs, for example. Mourning Doves and bluebirds immediately come to mind. Why must I only have one or three in a photo?
I think you're misunderstanding. It's the rule of thirds (not three) and it has nothing to do with the amount of subjects in your photo. It has to do with where in your frame you've placed the main subject: Rule of thirds - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Even so, this is not necessarily a "rule" to be followed all the time. It's a guideline to help you consider different compositions and decide what looks best.

Quote:
Another one - "You want to see the eyes." Well, for example, the guy is a squinty eyed varmint. His whole bad guy personality comes from squinting. It's a candid shot, not a posed one.
I think whoever told you this may have been referring to lighting and catch lights. Even with candid photos and people with small eyes, you want catch lights to show, otherwise the eyes look "dead". If squinting shows personality and attitude, go with it but make sure the eyes are still lit.

Quote:
Another one - The bird/animal can't be just perched/sitting there. It has to be doing something to be considered "good." Well, how many times do you stick your human model/subject in a chair looking yonder? Do you hand them a pair of knitting needles or a book so they can be "doing something" when you photograph them? So why do animals/birds have to be "doing something?"
Birds and certain other animals don't really show much expression in their face so showing physical action makes a much more engaging photo. Again, this is only a guideline, I have seen photos with a bird just perched there which are very well done, usually because the lighting or the setting really sets the mood of the image. For example, a cardinal perched on a branch in the middle of a snowy winter. It's the snowy setting, mostly white, in stark contrast to the bright red of the bird, which makes the image beautiful.

Some animals, like dogs, can show a lot of emotion in their faces but it's hard to catch because they don't exactly pose like humans can. You have to determine what the intent or purpose of your image is. Is it to show emotion? If so, pick a subject which can show a lot of emotion and you don't necessarily need them "doing something". But if you pick a subject which does not show emotion easily, you need to consider what else will make the image interesting or eye catching. "Action" is an easy way with animals to do so, so it's a good place to start.

Last edited by PA2UK; 10-13-2011 at 04:12 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-13-2011, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Phoenix
7,217 posts, read 9,284,753 times
Reputation: 8357
When shooting animals or candids you also have to take into account the "bird in hand" rule. Take what you can while it's there.

I agree with PA2UK. Many of those "rules" are guidelines. The idea is to get you to "see" the better photographs in any scene. Something I have to work on myself.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-13-2011, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Sanford, NC
2,115 posts, read 2,738,599 times
Reputation: 4056
The rule of thirds. I understand it but never have a desire to use it.

Not a "rule" per say, but when people tell me to shoot in the golden hour for better shots. I don't know many people that have that much free time. I have to get the shot while I'm there, I don't have the time or can't afford to drive back 300 miles the next day just to shoot in the golden hour.....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-13-2011, 01:29 PM
 
460 posts, read 990,071 times
Reputation: 628
Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
It's the rule of thirds (not three) and it has nothing to do with the amount of subjects in your photo.
Actually, there is a rule of three ( http://blog.epicedits.com/2007/07/06/add-impact-to-your-photos-with-the-rule-of-three/ - broken link) in photography, as well as a rule of thirds.

Often, "three" just seems to work better than "two", when it comes to composition. Interestingly enough, landscapers often lay out various plants and flowers in groups of three, in a landscape. And, there is also a "rule of three" for writers....which really doesn't have anything to do with this conversation, so I don't know why I brought it up.

Of course, these "rules" are really just guidelines, that sometimes work, and sometimes don't. They can be a starting point, but as always, it's up to the artist to make the real decision about what works best.

Last edited by Muonic; 10-13-2011 at 01:39 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-13-2011, 02:46 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
10,218 posts, read 17,935,984 times
Reputation: 13938
Well, I've never come across it. As ever, it really depends on the image. I once took a photo of my two turtles looking like mirror images of each other so it would only work two, not three.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-13-2011, 02:51 PM
 
13,258 posts, read 21,883,482 times
Reputation: 14155
Dang, I'll have to tell my couples that want engagement shoots that they'll need a third because I'm only doing menage-a-trois now.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-13-2011, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
23,766 posts, read 29,150,053 times
Reputation: 37337
don't ever yell out "Bwah-ha!" when jumping out from behind a bush to photograph your subject., supposedly it results in a somewhat artificial response, but to me it's more of a reflex action no different than dashing away afterwards.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-13-2011, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Greater Greenville, SC
5,893 posts, read 12,834,019 times
Reputation: 10700
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muonic View Post
Actually, there is a rule of three in photography, as well as a rule of thirds.

Often, "three" just seems to work better than "two", when it comes to composition. Interestingly enough, landscapers often lay out various plants and flowers in groups of three, in a landscape. And, there is also a "rule of three" for writers....which really doesn't have anything to do with this conversation, so I don't know why I brought it up.

Of course, these "rules" are really just guidelines, that sometimes work, and sometimes don't. They can be a starting point, but as always, it's up to the artist to make the real decision about what works best.
This "rule of three" is also used in decorating, i.e. making groupings of three items vs. just a pair. It doesn't have to be three necessarily, as long as it's an odd number.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Photography

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top