Weekly photo challenge: rule of thirds (or not?)

I don’t claim to be a photographer despite many of my posts using photos and my regular participation in The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenges.  I do have talented relatives who are acclaimed photographers and I am envious of their skills.  I only ever photograph things that take my fancy for one reason or another, like the subject, the light or the colours or even the lack of colour.  I don’t even use a proper camera, I use my iPhone. In other words I am just playing around!

I don’t think this should matter too much as I am not selling my work and I’m not purporting to be a photographer. I’m simply blogging! I thoroughly enjoy the support of the blogging community in my endeavours.

In this week’s Daily Post challenge I had to think and be a bit more technical than usual – and I liked it!  I usually read the theme and think of a photo I have taken that could suit it or I go out and take a photo after giving it some thought for a day or two.  I always give the topic a great deal of thought before I decide how I will go about it. This week was no exception.

This week it’s all about the Rule of Thirds. If you’ve read some of my posts I’m not really one to follow too many rules (see here for an example). I am currently very taken with my sunflower that is in the process of flowering.  I am taking a photo every few days to keep track of the slowly opening bud.  It’s fascinating!

The Rule of Thirds is a photography concept that puts the subject of the photograph off-center, which usually results in blank space in the rest of the image. If you focus closely on your subject and use a wide aperture, your photograph’s background will also be beautifully blurred in that blank space. The blurred area behind your focal point is referred to as bokeh, and when executed well, it adds depth and artistry to an otherwise simplistic photograph.

Anyway I decided today to take a photo using the instructions for the rule of thirds but I’m not sure if I’ve managed it OK. I really appreciated the listing for those using phones as cameras and tried very hard to follow them.

For those of you shooting with a smartphone camera, you too can achieve a bokeh effect by bringing your phone close to your subject and selecting where you want your camera to focus. Simply compose your image in your screen, and tap your focal point.  You should see your camera autofocus on that area, and the background will fall into a blur. If it doesn’t focus, you’re a little too close. Hold your phone steady, and snap! Because of the nature of phone cameras, it won’t be as creamy of a bokeh as you would get with a traditional camera, but it will still add depth to your image.

Opening up!
Opening up!

I’m not sure if my photo meets the rules exactly as I’m a bit over the third but I like the outcome anyway.  I reiterate that I’m not a photographer and I know that I’m just playing at taking photos – but it’s fun and keeps me thinking and using my creative side.

I appreciate any thoughts on my attempt to achieve the desired result!

Deb 🙂

9 Replies to “Weekly photo challenge: rule of thirds (or not?)”

  1. Hi Deb. Your sunflower is a great subject – I took some photos of it when I was at your place on the weekend.

    One technical thing … the rule of thirds doesn’t work terribly well in a square image. Try taking a rectangular photo and you’ll see the difference. You might want to stand a little further back too so that there’s more space in the shot.

    Try this: compose the shot so that the flower has space above and below it, and lots of space on the right hand side and not much space on the left hand side. Then take another shot with the flower right in the middle of the frame. You’ll be able to see the difference immediately, but more than that it’ll feel different. It’ll be more interesting because it’s not plonked right in the middle of the frame, although that can work too for some things. Please don’t read this as a judgement; I’m just trying to be helpful.


    1. Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll try and see what I can manage next time. I never thought about the square shape so that’s good to know. It is a great subject and I’m enjoying seeing it open a bit more each day right before my eyes 🙂


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