I recently talked about the rule of thirds and how using this rule can improve your composition and make a photo more pleasing to the eye. The word “rule” is a bit of a misnomer, however, since there is more than one way to skin a cat. In the above photo I’ve gone and broken that rule of thirds right over my knee. The woman’s head is pretty much dead centre in the shot, as you can see. I could have easily cropped the shot in a way that would force my subject and scene to comply to the rule of thirds, but in this case I felt having her centred in the shot, with the hustle and bustle of the city going on around her, worked better. She stands out in the photo for her crossed arms and lack of movement. Her shadow on the sidewalk in front of her, and the frame of light around her head and jacket also help to define her in the scene. She almost looks majestic here, in my opinion. To have her off to the side, as one would using the rule of thirds, would give more emphasis (or weight) to her surroundings and those walking past her. She would no longer be the centre of attraction. This is her scene and her city and in this photo she owns it all. That’s how I see it and why she deserves to be centred in the shot.
The point is, it’s okay to bend or break rules, but ideally there should be some thought to it, rather than doing it by accident or because you’d forgotten to really evaluate the scene and your subject.
Consider this: As a professional writer I’m oft to start a sentence with “But,” And,” or “However,” even though the “rules” would suggest this is grammatically incorrect. When I do start sentences this way, it’s always for a well thought out reason. I know the rules and have chosen to purposely break them for emphasis or some other reason. Get me.
Anyway, hope you have a good weekend. Happy Friday.