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Topic ClosedNEW Basic Assignment #1: Rule of Thirds and Golden Mean

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Direct Link To This Post Topic: NEW Basic Assignment #1: Rule of Thirds and Golden Mean
    Posted: 01 January 2010 at 12:25
Assignment #1: Rule of thirds and Golden Mean

This assignment is about two compositional methods, Rule Of Thirds and Golden Mean. They are proven to be a good starting point to gain composition skills. But they are nowhere near the end of the search for the perfect picture, so don't stick to them always. The real point of this task is to look for a pre-defined composition in the environment around you. I suggest you read this great source about these composition principles. If you are confident that you know about them enough, you may skip this stage.

You will shoot a picture using the Rule of Thirds or Golden Mean, or a combination of both. No studio shots/no interfering with the subjects. You must not change the natural layout of the scene. Only cropping in one direction is allowed.

General Assignment Rules


The general rules for the assignments are as follows :

- clean slate, all “old” assignments will be locked (over time as the new ones are created)
- no mining, shots must be specifically taken for the assignment (we trust you )
- only one assignment at the time. Once started you can only take the next assignment after having passed.
- one dimension crop and minor straightening allowed (to allow different aspect ratios, but don’t crop in both directions)
- max 2 pics per post/try
- you can do the assignments in any order, and repeated as many times as you want
- at least one moderators or admin will comment on every post and determine fail/pass. This might include general C&C as well.
- all members of Dyxum can also leave comments on the shots posted
- id of members that passed will be kept in a "pass post"
- specifically good pictures or good examples of assignment passes will be kept in a new "assignment gallery"
- instructions for specific assignments will generally stay as is (and we'll have to write new ones for new assignments).
- shots posted for the assignments are eligible for selection in the weekly exhibitions





Edited by pegelli - 16 January 2010 at 20:58
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 January 2010 at 20:48
Rule of thirds:

A850 70-300G@180mm ISO200 f/5.6 1/320s



Golden Ratio:

Honestly, I'm having trouble with this one. I've read more than one article that states at first finding the golden ratio in pictures is more of an analysis after the pictures are taken.

The picture below is the only frame I took that I thought of the golden ratio while framing it. Starting at the pointsetta rotating counter-clockwise moving up through my dad (on the right).

A850 70-300@70mm ISO200 f/5.0 1/80s w/ HVL-F58AM flash (bounced).


a850/a100 - 50f1.4/24-70CZ/70-300G/70-400G/Sony 100f2.8 Macro/Cosina 100f3.5 Macro/500f8/Sigma10-20f4-5.6/1.4x tele/2x tele
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 January 2010 at 22:03
A Royal pass I would say for the first picture. Nice play with DOF, placement of the two similar headstones and some slightly diagonal lines maki9ng all for a very pleasing composition.

The second is less obvious, but as you point out is a reasonable golden ratio example, where the position of the tilted flah head together with the arms of your father and the girl can even be a hint to the Nautilus spiral.

Well done on both counts. The assignment is Rule of Thirds or Golden Ratio so thanks for trying and submitting both.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 January 2010 at 23:09
Ok,

First off - thanks for setting up these assignments - I really want to expand my photography in 2010, I have the kit - now I need to learn!

Two attempts to follow the rule of thirds here - no crop at all but some levels/brightness/contrast to try and improve the pics a little (a bit flat straight out of the camera)

Landscape: I placed the far lake bank on the top third and tried to use the ice to create the bottom splitting the image into 3 areas



Portrait - similar placement of the lake bank but tried to include some foreground on another 'grid point' with the log and the duck!



Thanks for consideration

Olly
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2010 at 03:13
Wow, the Assignment #1 entries are a lot better than they were back when I did it!

Composition on the second shot is really neat, Olly. Actually, I think it would be even better with less sky, ignoring thirds there, but I'll leave the analysis to pegelli ).

Hope comments are okay. Didn't mean to judge; just struck me how good the first efforts were. (Edit: Oops, that's judging isn't it? Well, I think you know what I mean.)

Edited by maewpa - 04 January 2010 at 03:16
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2010 at 11:31
@maewpa:

May I remind you of two important rules of the NEW assignments:
- you can do the assignments in any order, and repeated as many times as you want
- all members of Dyxum can also leave comments on the shots posted


So if the submission now look better than you did before no reason not to try again

Also leaving comments (like you did) is fine, and even encouraged to keep this part of the forum as lively as possible.



@Pathway: Agree with Paul they're nice shots. I'll comment on them later in more detail when I have had a little more time to "absorb" them.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2010 at 21:02
Thanks - looking forward to any comments/criticism/advice

Paul - thanks for the comments. I think you may be right about the 2nd pic (about the sky) but I really aimed to capture a 'rule of thirds' pic without needing to make ANY crop (even if it is allowed in one direction!)

Anyone else....C&C strongly encouraged - I want to learn and am open to all comments - good & bad

Olly
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2010 at 22:09
@Pathway. The first is nice and a clear pass for ROT based on the two horizontal lines. Also like the colors. I know it's difficult to change the scenes but somehow I'm missing one or two "eye catcher" objects at the ROT points and therefore the picture still lacks some depth. Also the bird right in the middle at the top doesn't help in that regard.

The second gives me more doubt, I think the horizon is a bit too low for ROT (I consider the ice/shrubs boundary the natural horizon that I expect at 1/3 from the top) and there's too many similar other elements (mainly ducks and other waterfowl) competing for attention vs. the two you put at the bottom two ROT points. I do like the line the log gives (but that's another assignment)

So I would recommend you now first try some other assignments and then come back with a second go at ROT, but now with stronger objects/points in the composition vs. mainly lines.

Hope this helps.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2010 at 22:39
Great advice

I totally understand the C&C about both shots and will have another at another time and, as you say, will try some others

Definitely of help

Oliver
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 January 2010 at 03:28
Originally posted by pegelli pegelli wrote:



So if the submission now look better than you did before no reason not to try again



Pieter, how did you know? I started last weekend... since I'm not participating in One Prime, I need something to keep me focused! I was just doing it for myself, but may be more fun to join in.

Okay, this is cropped, but it was shot at 420mm and I had no more length available... so it was cropped "at conception" and the crop made is roughly proportional all round (although clearly with bigger crops from the sides). Further in my defence, it was shot with this assignment in mind....



But because we shouldn't try to bend the rules too much...... here, obviously, I have tried to place the head on the thirds intersection point (in so far as a live subject likely to fly away would let me) as well as the whole left side of the foreground subject, letting the head turn draw the eye back into the rest of the subject. Also shot with this assignment in mind.



I can post the uncropped versions of both if necessary... like I said, I wasn't expecting to be submitting them.

Edited by maewpa - 06 January 2010 at 03:34
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 January 2010 at 22:05
Paul, both end-result pictures are good examples of ROT and how they make the compositions more attractive. The boat is well placed and moves you right into the frame and the stork is also placed such that you you get led by the body line to it's eye.

Since I do enjoy your shots and how you translate the assignment I'm going to take the cheap cop-out and say "no pass", because to pass you need to meet the rules, i.e only crop in one dimension and I'm sure there are frame filling opportunities in your area to show us more examples that do meet the rules.

Btw. I appreciate you fessing up the crop, as that is impossible to spot after the fact.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 January 2010 at 04:57
Hi all, this is my first post in the forum, take this opportunity to give some introduction. I'm from Malaysia and currently using A100 with some minolta lenses and flash since 2008. Like to take photography a bit serioustjis year. Enuf for that now below is my submission. C&C are welcome





thanks
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 January 2010 at 12:07
@ pegelli... fair enough Pieter!

@muyazed.... Welcome to Dyxum! I'll leave Pieter (pegelli) to comment on the photos.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 January 2010 at 21:22
@muyaszed: first of all welcome to dyxum. Quite brave to start your posting career in the assignments because we're not easy here.

In the first picture I see some aspects of ROT, by the line of "nuts" going between two ROT points. However there are quite a few competing elements that disturb this which makes the overall composition a bit messy while also the shot looks flat and overexposed. Not enough for a pass I would say.

The second is slightly better in overall picture quality, but still a bit overexposed. However other than the 3 zones from top to bottom with dark - light - dark there is no other clear ROT element in there so for me also not a pass.

Hope this C&C helps and points you into the direction of better exposed pictures (using the full scale from black to white) as well as more clear usage of the ROT lines and points.
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