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"Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph." – Matt Hardy


"I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it."  -  Author Unknown


"A man’s heart away from nature becomes hard; lack of respect for growing, living things soon leads to a lack of respect for humans too."  – Luther Standing Bear


"Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow."Imogen Cunningham


"Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."  - Ansel Adams


"When you follow your bliss….doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else."  - Joseph Campbell


"You can outdistance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you." – Rwandan Proverb


"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." – Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."  -  Pablo Picasso


"We have been taught to believe that negative equals realistic and positive equals unrealistic."  -  Susan Jeffers


"Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous.  That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor."  -  Paul Hawken


"Satisfaction of one's curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life."  -  Linus Pauling


When Can I 'Break' the Rule of Thirds?

The idea of the Rule of Thirds is to keep the photographer from 'bullseyeing' the subject in the center of the frame.....keeping the subject along the thirds and power points in the image generally makes for a much stronger composition and is more pleasing to the viewer's eye.  HOWEVER, there are certain times that it is OKAY to break this rule.  

The general answer is:  When the image is strong enough to deserve it.  For example, if you have a very strong and interesting reflection or powerful leading lines or very strong symmetry within the image. Take the below image.....

In this image there was a strong reflection so I centered the image along the horizontal axis because the symmetry in the reflction was a powerful element.  But also notice that the sun which is duplicated in the reflection is along the right vertical third.  A somewhat centered image that still uses the idea of the Rule of Thirds. 

Here the thing that pulled my attention in this lavishly ornate cathedral was the brass plate on the floor.  I wanted to highlight the beauty of this plate while also including the beauty of its surroundings.  So I decided to center it in the frame and not put it on a power point.  HOWEVER, notice that I am still using the idea of 'thirds' because the top of the plate follows the bottom third and the light at the end of the aisle is along the top third.  So even when I 'break' the rule, I still tend to somehow pay attention to where other elements lie within the frame. 

In this next image, I was drawn in by the texture but also by the symmetry of the rear of the car. So in this case I centered the spine of the car in the image for the most impact.  But again, notice that the back windshield is running along the line of the top third and the bright yellow leaf is aligned on the bottom third.  I RARELY every center anything completely, but do branch out from the the Rule of Thirds when the subject allows for it.

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