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Richard Wheeler- Rules...are they mean’t to be broken?

Blog Posted on 01 Apr 2011

Today I fancied talking about an image that will probably be quite controversial to many photographers.  When learning about photography, people often talk about the rules of thirds. Whilst I agree that objects work best on a vertical or horizontal third (i.e. generally 1/3rd of sky and 2/3rd of landscape) there are times where this rule can be disregarded in favour of 50/50 splits.
I personally am quite a fan of breaking the rules.

This photograph, taken at Middle Black Clough falls does break the rules. The falls in the background and the smaller foreground falls line up smack down the middle.  You may argue that this is too central?  Should I have moved the camera over to the right to offset the background falls so they are on the left 1/3rd and have the foreground falls in the right third? Possibly...
For me though, I like this shot. The reason I like it is the way everything seems to point to the centre. If you draw an imaginery diagonal line starting in each corner, you will hopefully see what I mean. The eye is drawn to the middle (the main interest) as everything is pointing that way.  Looking more closely there are some thirds involved in this too, the wall of green mossy background takes up 2/3rd of the shot, contrasting the 1/3rd brown foreground.
I’d be interested to know your thoughts! Does it work or not?
Please feel free to let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me at

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