Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge: Week #11 Centerpoint (Continued)

Good day everyone. Since this is a family oriented week for the most part, I’m postponing my challenges this week. So the topic of Centerpoint – Breaking the Rule of Thirds will remain as the topic for this week.   Feel free to post again or just skip this week. For those of you celebrating some sort of holiday, I hope they are joyful and full of love.

This week’s CCY Theme is Centerpoint – Breaking the Rule of Thirds. 

5-gold-starsFor your weekly assignment I would like to see at least 4-6 photos of photos taken with absolutely center of your photo being where  your main subject.  Please described what you learned in this lesson as well.

Each week I will select several features from everyone who submits an entry.  And from those posts that I feature, I will grant one blogger the Gold Star Award.  To find out who was awarded the Gold Star Award and Features for this week, please see CCY Week #10 Using 2/3 of Your Photo Frame.

Note:  Participants who do not have at least 4 photo showing their attempt at this week’s topic in their post will not be featured nor be considered for the Gold Star Award.


To continue our discussion of the rule of thirds, let’s start by breaking it. Before you can break any rule, you have to understand it enough to be able to break it successfully. One thing you can do to break the rule of thirds is to put your subject in the middle of the frame. Although, using the counterpoint doesn’t always work.  It can make for a rather boring photo.  If you are going to use the middle at all, you need a specific and small point of focus, something that will draw immediately the eye to the center of the frame which your eye will then flow through the rest of the photo.

(Note: a square framed picture works best for a subject in the middle because it helps keep your eye in the center of the picture. We’ll talk about square perspectives in an upcoming essay.)

Here’s an example. Nice dahlia, right? What does your eye do when you look at this picture?

121315middle angled flower doesn't pop like the direct center

This doesn’t work as well because the center of the flower isn’t centered in the frame. It’s facing slightly right, so your eye wants to land in the center and then travel to the right and out of the frame. It would have been better if I’d taken the center of the flower closer to the left side of the frame so your eye could finish looking at the whole flower.

Here are some floral examples of how well using the middle third works when your subject is face forward.

121215middle - dahlia

121215middle - flower


You can use the middle third for things other than flowers. This steam engine works well in the middle.

121215middle - farm steam engine

Using the middle works for things other than circles, too. Here is a simple subject, centered in the frame.

121215middle - brick wall

121215middle - screw_1

Let’s do a fun wrap of the Rule of Thirds by looking at one picture cropped a number of ways, putting the subject in different thirds. Let’s look at Fido getting a drink at the local pond. Here’s the original full frame, switched to black and white so that the noise of the color doesn’t distract from the subject.  Note:  In this original photo I did have the nose right in the middle.

121315middle dog nose in original

Let’s crop it using still using the nose as the middle along with a square crop.   Notice that the dog’s nose is smack dab in the center of the photo. Your eye is happy to stay right there. It doesn’t care what’s to the right or left of our dog.

121315middle dog nose in middle of photo

Now let’s crop it, keeping our dog in the lower third. It still works, but isn’t as interesting.

121315middle dog nose in one third of photo

Let’s go to two-thirds to the left with the dog and his reflection dominating the picture.

121315middle dog nose in two thirds of photo

Upcoming Challenges

  • Week #11 Centerpoint – Breaking the Rule of Thirds (current)
  • Week #12 Critique My Work – I will give show you a couple of photos and you can either copy them and correct the compositional errors or write a post about how I got things wrong or right
  • Week #13 Perspective
  • Week #14 Symmetry
  • Week #15 Cropping Tips
  • Week #16 Intersections

Qi (energy) hugs



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