UPDATE: The new blog is live! I fixed the incorrect links below and all should work properly now. All new content will be posted to themes blog site. Thank you for your continued support!
If you’re a regular reader of my blog and one day soon find this link inactive it’s because I’m moving the blog. The new Bret Edge Photography Blog will be online within 10 days. Bookmark it at http://blog.bretedge.com. All of the current content will be imported to the new blog…or so they say.
On another note – epic conditions in the Tetons this morning. Been shooting for 2.5 hours non-stop. Can’t wait to share some images with y’all.
Have a great week!
If you’ve ever read a photography “how to” book you are no doubt familiar with the rule of thirds. If not, here’s a brief explanation. Imagine two horizontal and two vertical lines running through your viewfinder, dividing it into equal sections. Where those lines intersect are the sacred “sweet spots”. If you were to compose an image using the rule of thirds you would place your main subject at one of those intersections. Simple enough, right?
Back when I was a newbie photographer I obsessed over the rule of thirds. Never would I compose an image with the main subject smack dab in the middle of the frame. Blasphemy! But here’s the thing: the rule of thirds is a guideline, a suggestion. It is not an absolute.
I’ll be the first to admit that more often than not using the rule of thirds as a compositional aid will result in the most dynamic photo. I no longer obsess over it but I’ve been at this photography thing for 11 years now and building compositions is a lot like breathing – it’s just automatic. I arrange the elements within my images such that main subjects are right there in the “sweet spot”, even though I didn’t make a conscious decision to put them there. Every once in a while though, I get a little rebellious. Every now and then, I’ll center my main subject.
When is the right time to give the rule of thirds the bird and create a centered composition? I don’t really know. The best answer I can offer is to say, “When it just feels right.” Yeah, I know – how very new age of me. The reality is that photography is not a science. It is an art. Even in today’s high tech digital world, where cameras are nothing more than small handheld computers, what comes out of them is art. By it’s very nature, art is subjective. We all see the world through different eyes and what I think is a masterpiece, you may consider a master piece of crap.
I think the best way to learn when the time is right for a little breaking of the rules is to experiment. When you’re working a composition try using the rule of thirds. Then break the rules and place your subject in the center. Most of us use digital cameras and it doesn’t cost a single penny to click the shutter. Be liberal with that sucker! The more you photograph, and the more you experiment, the more adept you will become at recognizing when a centered composition is the right choice.
Take a look at the two images in this post. What do you think of the compositions? Was centering them the right choice? If so, why? If not, why? What would you have done different? Let’s get a lively discussion going. Maybe it’ll give a newbie the inspiration to offer a middle finger salute to “the rules” and start experimenting with centered compositions?
In a few hours I’m headed out to Jackson Hole for two weeks of photography, hiking, camping and fun at our workshop June 10 – 13. I won’t be active on the ol’ blog while away but I do have a post scheduled to go live next week. Be sure to check back as it’s a good one. Well, I think it’s a good one. Guess I should leave it to you, my readers, to ultimately make that decision.
I’ll most likely post a short trip report here when I get home and have a chance to dig through all my images.
Until I return, may the sweet light be with you!
Dan and I are almost finished building iFotoGuide: Grand Canyon! We were fortunate to partner with tremendously talented photographer, former Artist-in-Residence at the Grand Canyon, and all around nice guy Adam Schallau to produce this guide. Adam’s intimate knowledge of the Canyon’s many moods and locations combined with his breathtaking photos have allowed us to create a photography guide that virtually guarantees you’ll make amazing images on your next trip to the Grand Canyon.
We expect iFotoGuide: Grand Canyon to be available for download for $4.99 in the Apple iTunes App Store in late June. This price includes lifetime updates that will include new locations, discounts on photo gear and services from some of the biggest names in the industry, and more. All iFotoGuide apps function on the iPhone and iPod Touch. You can learn more about iFotoGuide here.
Here’s a sneak peek at what we’ve been up to over the last few weeks.
Over the last few days I’ve spent hour after hour sitting at my desk staring at the computer while processing images for my redesigned website. My new gallery structure consists of four portfolios: New Images, Adventure, Desert and Mountains. As I worked through hundreds of images one thing became abundantly clear: I am a desert rat.
I was born in Los Angeles, where I lived for the first six years of my life. After that we moved to Phoenix for a year, then Atlanta for six years, then back to Phoenix. The day after high school graduation my Mom and brother moved back to Georgia. I stayed in the desert. I spent eighteen years in Phoenix, and I still consider it home. In 2002 I decided it was time for a change and I moved to Denver. Rocky Mountains, here I come! No more oppressive heat, thorns in my mountain bike tires or rattlesnakes at my feet. That lasted three years.
What happened next was kind of a whirlwind. I got laid off from a job I’d held for 13 years, got married, took a 4 month road trip throughout the West and finally settled in Moab. Another desert. A high desert, but a desert just the same. We’ve been here four years this month.
Clearly, I’m drawn to the desert. Wide open spaces, hundred mile views, deep blue skies, cactus and canyons and coyotes – they’re all here. Not to mention monumental sunsets, wildflowers eking out a brief but glorious existence from the scorched earth, sand in my ears, sun on my back and those moments of pure serendipity when I stumble upon a ruin left behind by the ODR’s - Original Desert Rats.
I suspect I’ll always run to the mountains when I can no longer bear the summer heat. Chances are I’ll even move away from the desert, most likely back into the Rockies. There I’ll dream of the desert while napping next to an alpine lake. Mid-winter, when the snow is flying and the temperatures are diving, I’ll escape to warmer climes. Back to the cactus. Back to the sunsets. Back to the desert.
On Wednesday, May 26 Officer Travis Murphy with the Phoenix Police Department responded to a suspicious vehicle report. Upon arrival to the area he and his partner split up to search for the suspect. Officer Murphy located the suspect, shots were fired and Officer Murphy was struck several times. He was rushed to a local hospital in a police vehicle where he was pronounced dead. Officer Murphy was 29 years old. He is survived by his wife, a 2 year old daughter and a 2 week old son.
An account has been established in his name at Wells Fargo for the benefit of his children. Donations are accepted at any branch, whether in or out of the state of Arizona. Please consider making a donation, no matter how small, to honor Officer Murphy’s dedication to duty, community and courage, and to thank him and all other law enforcement officers for the sacrifices they make on a daily basis. I am making a small donation for my son, Jackson.
EOW: May 26, 2010 RIP, Brother.
I seem to be on a tripod kick lately. I’ll continue that theme with what I hope will be a fun exercise with lots of involvement from you, my loyal blog readers. The other night, while my tripod and I were perched in a precarious position about 40′ off the deck and literally on the edge of a cliff, I got to thinking about all the crazy places my poor old Gitzo has been set up. I took a photo of it living la vida loca and am including it here for your amusement. I’m also including the photo I made while teetering on the brink. Was it worth the risk? You betcha!
Here’s where the real fun begins. Let’s see a photo of you and/or your tripod in a hairy situation. Maybe it’s the edge of a cliff or waist deep in pounding surf. Whatever, wherever – let’s see it! You’ll have to post a link to the photo somewhere since you can’t upload photos directly in the response fields. That would be cool, though. Be sure to give us a little description, too!