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Old 16-12-2018, 09:43 PM
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Composition?

I've often wondered how much sky to include in a landscape image. What is the consensus on where to draw the line for a pleasing image?
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Old 16-12-2018, 09:53 PM
brisen (Brian)
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Hi Peter

Generally a rule of thirds is applied for landscapes although I think it varies on the intent of the image and what is being captured.

Brian
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Old 16-12-2018, 09:58 PM
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Thanks Brian. So in the case of an image like this would you place the horizon on one of the horizontal third lines?
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Old 16-12-2018, 10:11 PM
brisen (Brian)
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Yes as opposed to having the horizon in the middle. It an interesting challenge with this image.
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Old 16-12-2018, 10:46 PM
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Hi Peter,
Nice image.
I've never studied photography but I do read magazines and so I'll have a stab at what a "real" photographer might say! Please read the following using Jeremy Clarkson's voice.



For the composition you have, it needs interesting clouds to be a truly outstanding photo, and so the challenge here is the empty sky. The "rule of thirds" would have your sky only taking up the top 1/3, giving the majority of the pic to the more interesting middle and foreground.
You should try cropping this image, keeping the bottom right, putting the horizon higher at the top 1/3. As a bonus, the bridge would then also be positioned closer to 1/3 of the way from the left.
On this day with the sky as it is, another idea would be to get down low and use more of the foreground to fill the pic, and less of the empty sky.


Not sure if I'm right, but that's how I'd try to do it.
Cheers.
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Old 16-12-2018, 11:20 PM
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Depends on how interesting the sky is...

If it's plain like this, no reason it just can't be a thin strip to put the landscape in context.

DT
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Old 17-12-2018, 06:01 AM
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The Rule of Thirds is often sited in advice to amateurs, and can be appropriate for people hoping to just create something acceptable. However, art house photography ignores said rule most of the time. If you want a good example of the range of composition options, have a look at the work of Ansel Adam's, who is regarded as the master of landscape and nature.
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Old 17-12-2018, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter_4059 View Post
I've often wondered how much sky to include in a landscape image. What is the consensus on where to draw the line for a pleasing image?
I wouldn't set a hard & fast rule, but for me with this image I'd prefer to see far more sky. It doesn't matter that it is relatively empty. It all goes to create an aspect of vastness. As does the example of yours cropped below with "greater width" and no immediate foreground.

Best
JA
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Old 17-12-2018, 07:15 PM
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Thanks for the comments. It seems we each have different tastes in terms of more or less sky. I've done a few crops this evening to try to position the cable drum on intersection third lines. I like more sky and symmetry - I wonder if that is an engineering mind at work?
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Old 17-12-2018, 08:21 PM
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Hi Peter,

Symmetry can be a bit boring. It can also be perfect for the right subject. The rules of composition are really rough guidelines that often, but not always, apply.

That said, I don't like this image with the horizon/sky boundary dead in the middle. My preference would be the 3rd and 4th versions. As you noted, personal preferences vary.

Cheers,
Rick.
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Old 18-12-2018, 11:47 AM
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I agree with Rick.

In your image I think its more about where you attention is being drawn to.

A good photo composition I think, controls the viewers attention and draws it to the subject and points of interest. The rule of thirds is an attempt at stating that but I think the above statement is the basic on the subject. As its the senior basic I think that is why rule of thirds sometimes fails and sometimes works. Sometimes its controlling the person's attention and sometimes its not as other factors are pulling your attention in the image or you want it to look arty not necessarily what you see in nature. Then all bets are off but not controlling the attention of the viewer.

The great Italian Masters used geometric proportions in their artwork. Leonardo DaVinci's Mona Lisa for example is full of geometric proportions - a lot of it is Fibonacci ratios of which the rule of thirds is an easy guide of but not quite on the money. 61.8% is on the money so is the reciprocal of 38.2. A third is 33.33 so its close. So that would be 3.3% sky and 61.8% foreground.

In your image you have the nice diagonal going on with the waterway and that guides attention quite well. When there is a diagonal structure present in an image I often try to make it go from corner to corner where I can or evenly on either side of the diagonal. That usually looks best.

Anyway that is my 2C. Art often looks best with common geometric proportions like the Golden Mean 1.618 or 38.2% or 61.8% or pi. Even stock markets tend to follow these proportions and lot of traders expect the market to stop or bounce a these proportions and they often do.

But geometric proportion here really just represents pleasing proportions. Some proportions just seem right and others clash against this sense.

Greg.
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Old 18-12-2018, 05:04 PM
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Peter I like version 4 for what itís worth.
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Old 18-12-2018, 10:05 PM
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Its interesting just how different the images "feel" based on your crops Peter.

Of course its entirely possible logic and maths can't be reliably used to get the best artistic outcome here. Damned art....

I can't also escape the feeling this image is lacking something........stars?
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Old 18-12-2018, 10:20 PM
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When I look at your original image, I see (mostly) horizontal lines dominating, and that makes me think of a long skinny pano type crop, rather than the normal 16:9 or 4:3 type crops. Next I'd look at what the features are - what are you trying to show off in the image. You mentioned the cable drum, and there's a cool bird in flight with reflection over the water. I also like the buildings on horizon. The grass/foliage in foreground is just a filler I think. And with the plain sky, I'd just leave it top third max.

So taking all of the above, I'd crop above the grass so that mostly looking from left of image you're drawn to the cable drum and bird first, no grass bottom to distract. Have the "plain" water and sky mostly top and bottom. Crop from the left so cable drum about 1/3 from left. Leave some grass bottom right to balance it out.

Something like your 4th edit above, but more savage crop from bottom. Like this...
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Old 19-12-2018, 09:46 AM
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Agree with Troy but it was still missing something. Just sayin'
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Old 19-12-2018, 02:47 PM
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Goes without saying

Forgot to suggest applying the full suite of Carboni's actions to all images as you should always do
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Old 20-12-2018, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troypiggo View Post
Goes without saying

Forgot to suggest applying the full suite of Carboni's actions to all images as you should always do
Troy, I think you are onto something with balance in the image and thought this might be more to your taste....
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Old 21-12-2018, 06:30 PM
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Troy, I think you are onto something with balance in the image and thought this might be more to your taste....
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Old 26-12-2018, 03:20 PM
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I have no problems with putting the horizon across the middle of the photo. Otherwise it's rule of thirds for me.
That is, 1/3 or 2/3 sky
It depends on what your foreground is, and what it needs to put focus on it.


Trev
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