Week 1 – Story: Rule of thirds2017-06-12T05:16:26+10:00

The theme for this week is Story: Rule of thirds

The rule of thirds is the first compositional rule most photographers learn.  You’ve probably seen the cross hatched lines in your viewfinder or on your photo if you crop it on your phone.

To compose your photos according to the rule of thirds, you must imagine your photo divided into nine equal parts using two vertical lines and two horizontal lines.  The rule of thirds states that the most important elements in the scene should be placed along the gridlines or at the intersections where the lines meet.

In the example below I took a shot of the Eureka tower and lined up the apex of the building with the top and left 1/3 lines.  I possibly could have had it right on the intersection but the principle is enough.  Simple eh?  Once you know it’s there you’ll start to see it everywhere.  (As with any rule you will also deliberately break it just as often).

There are plenty of examples to be found and plenty of reasons to use the rule of thirds.  Some sites to look for inspiration are:

So onto this weeks challenge!

The challenge this week is to tell a story using the rule of thirds.  It’s your story so feel free to capture what you like.   (If you’re stuck for a subject show us something about your life so we get to know you a bit better).

Send your challenge to photos@iyt.org.au.  Remember to include a description which covers the subject and/or the process.

Submission due..


A very broad topic gave us lots of water and sky.

Plenty of interpretation as some people focussed on the intersection and some on the 1/3 lines.

Week 1 results below…  🙂


The story here is fairy simple. I was riding to work (as I do) admiring the clouds (which were particularly fine) when I noticed the hot air balloons drifting in over the Royal Exhibition Building.

Pulling into the drive, I parked, grabbed my phone, lined up a shot and this was the result.

My bike, the building and the balloon are each in one third (roughly) of the photo. The base of the building sits about where the bottom third line is, and my eye is naturally draw across there (L to R).

I would have adjusted things slightly if I’d have had time, but hot air balloons don’t just hang around waiting for people to line up photos… ?


This was taken at the reserve near my place. The sky, trees & tall weeds, and grass were each occupying around 1/3 of the picture. I tried but was unable to position the dead tree at one of the grid line intersections without affecting the rest of the composition.


Yeah, everyone loves a sunset shot. This one I tried to get how we encroach upon our world.

Just with the phone, on my ride home.


Having a son is so much fun!
Whilst the boy was out..I took his hot wheels for a spin


As a drawer of faces I spend a lot of time spotting out people who interest me in a crowd. I was struck by the woman in the centre of the shot who is almost on a horizontal lean. Smiling to herself whilst having an intimate moment with her phone in a busy place. I wanted to snap her from the front but she would have seen me and likely changed her demeanor. This is taken with my phone as my shots will probably all be. She is in the centre of the middle third and the two faces in the foreground at the intersections of the lower thirds. If I haven’t managed to follow the rules then I’m running with, rules were made to be broken.


A few of my creepy books and my creepy cat. I have a ‘thing’ for Stephen King and wooden cats, the stranger the better. Taken in ‘square’ format with my phone this week.


…. taken on my iPhone. Nothing fancy at the moment except some colour enhancing. It was more about learning. It’s made my driving to work more enjoyable looking for subjects for Rule of Thirds. Wish I could freeze traffic at times and get out of my car to take a photo lol.

There were a few good sunny days to be able to get the photos. Luckily I didn’t have to crawl under any rocks to get the photo. Hopefully i met the brief. I loved the challenge and learning about Rule of Thirds. Thanks. Looking forward to tomorrow’s new challenge.


I spent some of the weekend at gorgeous St Leonard’s. This pic was taken at the end of the pier just near sunset


A sign at a beach.


Taken Kerferd Rd Pier, Sat 10th June mid afternoon.
On an Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5


This is a straight photo, i.e. no manipulation in any program. I have minimally cropped.
It was taken on a Nikon, Coolpix digital camera


I think I got the brief right? Fingers crossed. I was at school pick up on the Strand and noticed this brilliant opportunity to fill 1/3 of the shot with the green of the grass and tree, contrasted with the deep blue of the afternoon sky.


And we’re off! Looking forward to revisiting the lives of old challenge mates and getting to know a few more! This is not quite on the thirds line, but it’s close (the third mark is between the right and middle branch). I also may have overdone the post-processing, but love the yellow/purple colour contrast. My only regret is that I took it on the iPhone when I swore I’d go camera every time. It wasn’t charged, whoops.


Up close and personal with a little statue about 20cm tall, part of a bird bath in a garden in East Warburton.


Nikon D810, Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 lens at 50mm, f2.8
Post-processing in Adobe Lightroom


Sunday 11 June @ Gumbuya Park, Tynong North, Victoria.
Gumbuya Park on a long weekend was a terrible idea. This is after 2 hours in queues which yielded as many rides. The anticipation was palpable but for this face it all somehow seems worthwhile.
Taken with Nikon1 – 18.5mm
Manual;  1/320 sec;   f/3.2;   ISO 400
Cropped (slightly) and levels adjusted in Photoshop.


“Am I coming with you??”

I pondered this topic the whole week, until on Sunday morning the opportunity presented itself  – Stewie had been promised a walk to brunch, but in the end it was far too rainy to take him with.  Cue disappointed pug. I think the focus is a little soft, but it was a one shot opportunity and I think it still captures the story.

Shot on a Canon 550D on AP, f/2.8 ISO 400 (1/20 sec).  No post except a slight crop


Ok, it’s fair to say it’s a slow start.

But I did read about and think about the theme. I just executed in a relatively dulll way  🙂


I’d taken a few shots of the horizon & water during the week but got this one last night.  I was driving home and there was a lot of fast moving wispy high level clouds across the moon that were changing colour.  The moon on it’s own was too bright so I had to wait until it was covered by some cloud but not so much to obscure it’s features.  Post processing was to boost the saturation.  Shot with Canon 1100D 300mm 1/8 sec f5.6


Yippee!! week 1 photo challenge

I have taken a few shots this week trying to look at the world in 3 parts and this was my favourite. Taken on my phone, this is of nesting boxes looking across Lake Borrie (south of Melbourne). I attempted to naturally show approximately 1/3 land, 1/3 water, 1/3 sky with no editing.


Not sure I’ve really understood this one… but here it is

Parliament station and its symmetry and divisions. Things we don’t see because we’re so focussed on where we’re going or coming from.


All week I’ve been looking for three and dividing in my head. I ride past this building site every morning and I wanted to try and get the crane to create a third grid in some way

It was beautiful light this morning – this was taken at 7 25 with my phone. I like the gross rule of thirds happening with the crane and that other large yellow thing but at the bottom there is the detail of the work men and the city sky line framed behind the fence

I am really looking forward to seeing other shots and getting feedback. Unfortunately due my weekend trip to Sydney I am unable to go back and try again with my DSLR


“We posed for the photo shoot … it’s time for the treats we were promised.”


I wanted to take a photo that meant something to me… at the naked eye with this photo I look like a good catholic girl, but in reality it’s about a mafia story I’m writing where one of the characters is a nun with a gun


Playing hooky on hump day