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Here are some studies of "Do's or Don'ts".

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The Rule of Thirds is actually a guideline more than a. It is intended to help the photographer with the placement of the attraction and focal point within the composition. But, if you want your viewer to ignore the other parts of your painting, then go ahead break the advice and center your subject.

What is the correct way?  Well for me that is a grey area  because I every image should be as the "AUTHOR"  wants it but there are several "no, no's" which I in normal cases stick to but it is up to you a frame or border can added if needed this is a matter of choice, but please make it suit.
This type of framing is ok for your home use or even on a web site you own but not for competition or even a Facebook page where others contribute.

mirror 2 by alex cummings mirror 3 by alex cummings          



Above on the left is a colour image of what appears to be an image filled with colourful  sea, sky, house roofs and other objects the flag the composition meets with the rule of thirds rule however the image on the right is a washed out  version of the same scene but it has the flag pole virtually on the left to right centre and a larger space of nearly empty sky also a little bit of the foreground rock is lost and remember what I sad about the frame.


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rule of thirds

The Rule of Thirds is actually a guideline more than a rule. It is intended to help the artist with the placement of the elements and focal point within the composition. But, if you want your viewer to ignore the other parts of your painting, then go ahead break a rule and center your subject like a big bull's-eye

To me since the advent of the digital age and with no separate film or chemicals being needed  to  yes no create B&W images everyone tries it out and few realize the requirements of a good B&W print. 
 Below on the left is a scanned image not really a great copy as the small print I used for the scanning is not as good as the original however the original won awards in several salons I like it for the lighting and the strong blacks Black and white is not just a case of clicking a button in your computer it is a whole new ball game and I envy those old timers  who actually did know take strong or misty images. Note in the female portrait below on the right which even though it is B&W it has skin tone etc. again a copy of a print If you are in any doubt make a copy of your image in your editing programme and draw three vertical and three horizontal lines on it and the main subject should be near the intersection of at least one of the third lines, in this case you can see that both the main boat and the smaller one are on intersecting lines. The bottom boat attracts your attention and the top one along with the dark land mass serves to keep you in



 black and white bottles   girl portrait









I am all for the use of frames even transparent ones but make sure you do not cut of your subjects head when using one.

yes no



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Above is a scanned image from Minolta Mirror a magazine published by Minolta, this was from the 1979 issue and the same rules apply today keep it soft and towards the high-key end for this style of photography, the two images shown below are too  low-key with shadows marring the models back.  Bright colours can work but only if you know what you are doing as Rob Owen certainly did.  The head cut off and the swirls etc. just do not in my and most other photographers opinions work.
If it is a lady you are photographing try and light it more softly and do away with the muscular toned back. ......... You may need to view these at their larger size or zoom into to them to see what I am talking about

    mirror 2 Mirror 3


Below another black and white this time in a rather unconventional frame,  I consider this to be OK however there are some for want if a better word "Prudes" who don't like it
to be truthful they do not even like frames

clean up
Above a straight photo or at least under my definition of straight, this one was taken at the now disused Trim Park in Uitenhage originally a B&W Print with  a conventional straight white border, in real life I mounted this using a grey matt and framed it but for this page I have changed the perspective of it and for me it works.  Photographs do not need to be just as "out of the camera" frame the if you want heck even let them BURST OUT of the frame or border like the coloured one below.


. motor cycle
Above another "straight photo" taken at Redhill in Uitenhage when there was racing there on a regular basis.  I think the bike was going too fast to be constrained by a frame. Again a scanned copy of a small copy of the original the quality is just not there as this won 5 certificates of merit or "honorary mention" at salons and only lost out for a sixth one at my home clubs' salon because of a "prude" who did not even like Motor Bikes.


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I have put these images on to show my  choice of photographs to frame and which I have left as is.
  sky and clouds

Above a straight photo well if you accept that I added a frame to it permissible as straight It is a sunrise shot taken from my back garden on a day when I had never seen such a combination of angry looking clouds and strong winds, normally when we get lovely red sunrises it is on a calm day possible cause was it was also the day that the fires were burning both in Knysna and Port Elizabeth Taken in June 2017



at shopping mall

Above this is a completely straight picture because apart from being signed the only other thing done to it was perhaps a little colour or exposure correction of course I may have cropped it a little too, Notice the Mime is in the middle of the image this was necessary as there were unsightly objects on either side. I think on of the reasons it works is because the verticals of the window break it into thirds

............ taken in 2016



   lagoon boat

Above again this is an old image originally on print negative film any modification was done in the darkroom but I can assure you it was very little. .  Knysna Lagoon is a fantastic place to get photographs  I have used coding on the web page to put a border round this image but the photo its self has only a grey and black line around it  will appear slightly differently in different browsers should look like this but Internet Explorer will make the edges square. Firefox and Opera will give the rounded edges I intended   Update since making this page explorer is now showing round corners but in case any other browser does not this is what it should look like


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boat jetty

I am classifying this as straight because although the resulting image that I took was a bit lighter than this if I had taken my own advice and bracketed I would have had an exposure to match this.  I had to enrich the colours but only ever so slightly


sun set
On the first page I included a picture of a sunrise so to finish off here is one of a sunset






Below in creative photography I always advised people to bracket their exposures as far as light is concerned but making use of  the zoom function also helps




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 Photographs and graphics are © & belong to Alex Cummings unless otherwise stated.  More photographs can be found on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/alex.cummings.1940/ or at https://plus.google.com/collection/ULgVRE

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