Yikes! People are heading out of town and need an assignment. Sorry to keep you all waiting. Last week's assignment had a good turnout, thanks to those willing to share their work and give all of us an opportunity to learn a thing or two (myself included). Thanks to boxergrrlie for helping with commentary.
Here's the rules:
--Photos have to be shot this weekend, Fri, Sat, or Sun.
--You must provide the EXIF information if asked (we'll help you, if you'd like to know how to get it)
--No photoshop alteration (we're looking to improve your skills with your camera, not software)
--Your photograph must adhere to the theme, which will be described below.
--Post your photos in this thread only. DO NOT start a thread in reply to this assignment.
--Post only one photo per post, so that commentary can be easily provided for that photo.
--And, the most important rule - Have Fun! We're looking to spread the joy that many of us derive from taking pictures, particularly ones that tell a story of some kind.
This week's theme: "Balance."
This could be an item, a composition, a stage in life, a color study, what you want. . . . Or many other interpretations. We were thinking it might be nice to make some of our "Photo Challenges" instructive for those trying to improve their picture taking. So this week, we invite you to work on composition (this is optional). Try to consider the "rule of thirds" or the "golden mean" when taking the picture for this week's assignment. Commentators will focus on this consideration when providing feedback on the photos.
For more information about RuleX3 or the Golden Mean, see Photo Composition Articles.
Here are two brief explanations from the Navy Training Manual, of all places (Hi, Paul!).
"Sometimes good composition is obtained by placing the center of interest in the geometrical center of the picture; it is generally not a good idea to place it there. Too frequently it divides the picture into equal halves and makes the picture uninteresting and difficult to balance. By dividing the picture area into thirds, both vertically and horizontally, and locating the center of interest at one of the intersections of the imaginary lines, you can usually create a feeling of balance to the composition."
"In photographic composition there are two general guides for determining the best location for the center of interest. The first is the principle of thirds. The other is dynamic symmetry. In the principle of thirds, the intersection of lines that divide the picture area into thirds are marked by O’s. These intersections are good locations for the center of interest in most photographs. Notice we said THE center of interest. Remember, have only one center of interest to a picture-keep it simple. The principle of dynamic symmetry is a similar idea. A good location for the center of interest is found by drawing or imagining a diagonal line from one corner to an opposite corner. Then, draw a second line perpendicular to the first from a third corner (fig. 5-6). The intersections of the lines are the location for the center of interest."
Below are two humble examples from my own photos.
The Golden Mean: This is a shot of my friend Brad riding Hwy 12 in Utah. This composition conforms pretty well to the idea of the "golden mean." The subject is in a sweet spot, allowing for an interesting, eye-leading background.
The Rule of Thirds: This is a shot of my wife's big casino win. It seems to conform well to the idea of the rule of thirds (though you can see my lines are not perfectly divided into thirds; it's a good, rough estimate). Her face is the subject (or is it the money?), again allowing me to do something interesting with the background, in this case, telling the story of where the money came from.
As BeerTeam mentioned already this week, this isn't a competition as much as a showcase and an opportunity to receive feedback and reflect on your shooting style and technique. If you'd like to try something with composition, go for it. If not, post a picture anyway. You never know what you might find. Some of my best pictures are accidents.
As before, photography ends Sunday at Midnight. Please post your photos no later than Wednesday, midnight--try for earlier.
Good luck, have fun, and happy shooting!