Still Life Rule Of Thirds

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Still life composition is surprisingly easy to main if you follow a few unproblematic guidelines and put in some practise.  In this video, I discuss my favorite all the same life composition techniques that y’all tin put to utilise correct away.

Dominion of Thirds for Notwithstanding Life Composition

The Dominion of Thirds is probably the single most useful guideline for creating pleasing visual still life compositions. It identifies recommended areas for placing important elements in an image. Typically, a scene can be divided into iii equal vertical zones, and three equal horizontal zones, using four filigree lines as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Rule of Thirds filigree.

The 4 intersection points created by the grid lines are splendid candidates for the placement of focal points. Still life scenes with natural or implied horizons can benefit by adjustment the horizon with one of the horizontal lines on the grid (rather than in the heart of the frame). Similarly, placing a major vertical element or dividing line near i of the vertical grid lines tin produce more than visually interesting results than if placed in the center of the frame.

The Dominion of Thirds merely reminds the photographer to avert centering major elemements of a all the same life in the frame. Nudging the visual weight over to one side, creating some negative space on the other, generally produces more highly-seasoned notwithstanding life compositions.

Nonetheless Life Limerick and the L-Shape Construction

One nigh fool-proof way to build up a good still life limerick is by using the Fifty-Shape Structure (encounter Figure 2). With this as a guide, a all the same life scene is constructed by placing a taller object along one side of the scene. Supporting objects are added to one side along the base of operations.

Overlay the Dominion of Thirds grid lines onto a scene built on the L-Shape Structure, and you might discover that the tallest element in the epitome lines up near i of the vertical grid lines. The items making upward the base of operations of the L should be at or near the lower horizontal line.


Figure 2. L-Shape composition construction.

Rule of Odds

The rule of odds suggests that an odd number of items is more often than not more interesting than an even number. Yet, even so life compositions are sometimes made up of groups of items, non but individual pieces. Y’all might have two groups made upwards of odd numbered items, simply information technology’s still two groups, not 3 (see examples in Figure 3). I retrieve it’due south more helpful to recall why this guideline exists; it’due south at that place to help avoid compositions featuring dull symmetry. Keep things asymmetrical, and y’all’ll be skilful to go.


Figure iii.  Rule of Odds. (A) Two objects in the scene. (B) Three objects in 2 groupings. (C) An fifty-fifty number of objects displayed as ane group of three, and one grouping of ane. (D) An even number of objects.

Keep in heed that the way you lot group objects in a scene can help the viewer understand the objects’ relationships to each other. Yous’re trying to communicate a style, a motif, a mood, and sometimes fifty-fifty a story with your nonetheless life composition. The mode you group things can either create tension OR harmony in the scene.

Other Even so Life Composition Considerations

There are several other art design and composition principles y’all might desire to keep in heed as you construct your still life scenes. With enough practice, composition becomes less of a concious effort as you develop an eye for the placement of objects in a scene.

Think nearly patterns and the rhythm created by the placement, size and repetition of objects in the scene. Likewise consider the outcome of an object’southward tone, color and texture in relation to the whole of the notwithstanding life composition.

A still life composition can exist uncomplicated and elegant, featuring a single object, like a flower, or more involved as it tells a story (run across Effigy iv).  If you’re new to still life work, attempt some of these tips as starting points for your next still life scene.


Figure 4. Still life compositions tin can exist elementary and elegant, or more involved, telling a story.