Saturday, September 22, 2007

Photographic health advisory No 2

The Rule of Thirds
Prior to my turn of the century epiphany that saw the abandoning of paint and brushes for pixels and a mouse I had never encountered “The Rule of Thirds”. In amongst the pencils and charcoal there resided a camera, but it was primarily an instant drawing device.
After the artistic sea change and the camera became my primary image capturing device, things photographic became my new learning curve. Whether in a magazine, book or internet article devoted to the subject at some time, the rule of thirds will raise its ugly head. This is where a tic tac toe grid of imagined lines is placed upon the picture plane creating 9 squares of equal size. When the main element of the image is placed at one of the 4 points that these lines intersect a strong composition will result.
Wrong, a boring composition will result. Strong composition is a result of the interaction between the balance and tension of all the elements in an image. A secondary aspect of composition is to lead the eye round the image.
The best place I can think of for using The Rule of Thirds is in pricing your work. A third for production, a third for the dealer and a third for the artist, which becomes an interesting calculation when your dealer expects 50% of the asking price.


Anonymous said...

The calculation would be: (50% for the artist, 50% for production) x 2. :D

As to the "Rule of Thirds," it works, but it also doesn't work. it all depends on the artist. Great artists have an innate gift for sensing balance, tension, and focal interest.

Henry Bateman said...

Thanks for your calculation Dawn, makes it very easy really. Although if I ever reach the dizzy heights of having a dealer who deserves this level of recompense this simplistic pricing formula will become redundant. I will have the business acumen and expertise on my side that will ensure much better returns.
Likewise with the "Rule of Thirds" which never scored a mention at art school. Although the force feeding of visual literacy through the non-elective "History of Art" did imprint upon the brain the principles of composition. With 3 hours a week of sitting in a darkened room watching the master pieces of the past parade across a screen it was absorbed effortlessly.

Anonymous said...

Don't you HATE sitting there in the dark while the gurls twitter over there and the boy next to you starts snoring? I remember....