Graffiti wall, composing, cropping

Posted: April 25, 2012 in graffiti, photography
Tags: , , , ,

Elizabeth from the excellent Glowing Wheel blog sent me a thoughtful comment yesterday after my post on cropping artwork. I appreciated the comment because it reminded me of how difficult it can be to get the original photo composed well, whether it is a found shot as above or a shot (scan) of our own artwork. Or composing the artwork to begin with is often a challenge. So I thought, on my 101th post, I would discuss the rule of thirds.

The rule of thirds is this: Imagine two equidistant lines vertically and horizontally over top of your image. Where these lines intersect is the most advantageous point for your main focus. There can be more than one focal point in a composition but one should be dominant and there should not be too many! For more insight than I have space for, check out “rule of thirds” on Wikipedia for a good explanation plus examples. The rule of thirds applies to photographs, collages, paintings and mixed media pieces as composition is always rule one. It doesn’t matter how fascinating or beautifully rendered the subject matter is, bad composition will not convey it.

The photo above documents what I saw on a wall in St. Pete approximately two years ago (sadly no longer there). The artist composed well and your eyes move successfully around the image in a satisfying way. One feels one has seen the entire composition in one look. This is good. As one who likes to crop, however, I see many intriguing areas, both inside and outside the “thirds” that I would like a closer look at. As the week progresses, I will do some cropping that satisfies my curiosity, and perhaps yours as well. I will try to explain how and why I cropped as I did. And you will get a closer look at this excellent artwork.

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Comments
  1. Elizabeth says:

    Ah, the rule of thirds. That’s a really good point to remember! I’ll have to work on incorporating that more into my work. Thanks!

    • crickyn says:

      If one can master the rule of thirds in their minds when looking at potential document photos or when creating artwork, the hardest part of composition is completed! The rest is just playing up the subordinate parts to highlight the thirds. Thank you for visiting and for your comments, they are much appreciated. tl

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