We Are Not Separate From the Earth
We think that the earth is the earth and we are something outside of the earth. But in fact we are inside of the earth. Imagine that the earth is the tree and we are a leaf. The earth is not the environment, something outside of us that we need to care for. The earth is us. Just as your parents, ancestors, and teachers are inside you, the earth is in you. Taking care of the earth, we take care of ourselves.
When we see that the earth is not just the environment, that the earth is in us, at that moment you can have real communion with the earth. But if we see the earth as only the environment, with ourselves in the center, then we only want to do something for the earth in order for us to survive. But it is not enough to take care of the earth. That is a dualistic way of seeing.
We have to practice looking at our planet not just as matter, but as a living and sentient being. The universe, the sun, and the stars have contributed many elements to the earth, and when we look into the earth we see that it’s a very beautiful flower containing the presence of the whole universe. When we look into our own bodily formation, we are made of the same elements as the planet. It has made us. The earth and the universe are inside of us.
~Thich Nhat Hanh (https://earthholder.org/walking-with-earth/)
Photography is an art form and as such need not rely on rules. Yet, it is important for the photographer to keep in mind that the composition rules help create balanced, dynamic, and interesting images that invite a viewer to stay and visit in comfort.
The Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is the element of composition that begins with dividing an image into thirds, horizontally and vertically, creating nine imagined sections.
The theory is that if you place your subject in the intersections or along the lines, your image becomes more balanced and will enable the viewer to interact with the story more naturally.
With the rule of thirds in mind, it is recommended that the photographer should compose a photographer by asking,
“what are the points of interest in this shot?”
“where am I intentionally placing them?”
Studies show that the human eye naturally is drawn more to one of the four intersection points than the the center of the image. Yet, sometimes a photographer finds that placing the subject right in the middle of the frame makes for a more interesting composition.
“Breaking” the rule of thirds opens the door to symmetry, creating balance on both sides of the image as well as the top and bottom.
We find beauty in natural symmetry. A butterfly, for example, has perfect symmetry when it opens its wings. Snowflakes, flowers and seashells also gift us with the beauty of balance.
Depth of field
Scenes that feature a shallow depth of field may also not require rule of thirds placement. That’s because a shallow depth of field creates dimension in a photograph, and our eyes are drawn into images that have dimension. You will look into a shallow background even when you can’t identify what’s there, because your eye automatically wants to move through a scene that seems to have depth and dimension.
Love to hear your thoughts about rule of thirds and see how you use this basic composition tool in your creative endeavors.
I hope you enjoy Saurav Sinha’s discussion about composition.