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I know that when taking a picture of a horizon of kind not to place the horizon line in the middle, but whilst I was taken some pictures of a sunset tonight there was more then one horizontalish line, but if I had one line on the top the other would be in the centre, and the same with the bottom third of the photo. Can I please have some help with this? What do i do???

Shannen

Tags: horizon, horizontal, lines, placement

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You look through the viewfinder and aim until you find the scene appealing, then you release the shutter.

If you had a calm body of water reflecting the background, placing the waterline dead centre would probably make the most sense so that you maximize the reflection. Of course there may be reasons you would not want to do this too. Not enough water, an ugly boat or pollution, to name a couple.

The rule of thirds is a guideline, break it when it makes sense to you to do that. When in doubt, take several different pictures, and step back/zoom out so you get a wider view then take some more pictures, step forward/zoom in and take still more. After a while, it will work itself out, you will get a feel for the way you like pictures to look. There is no single right answer and the same photo will be viewed differently by everyone.
amen.
great reply...
thanks for that cameraclicker... that is a great help
SCREW THE RULES!!!!!!! Especially screw the rule of thirds!!!! Most people that spout that nonsense have little understanding of the theory behind it and are only repeating what some other non creative person spouted. In art, if it feels good do it!!!!! That may not apply everywhere but it certainly does in art. If it feels right, it probably is and your judgment is as valid as anyone else. Edward Weston, one of the progenitors of the modern "photography as art" movement and a mentor of St. Ansel said, and I quote..."rules of composition are derived from the works of great masters and used by weak imitators to create nothing." Either you have the ability to see and to recognize patterns and the dynamic division of space or you don't. Go with your instinct. What felt good to you? What felt right to you? Do that. If it works it works. If it doesn't then analyze it yourself and find out why it doesn't. I know, as personal friends, several of the most well known landscape photographers in the world and NONE of them pay any attention to the rule of thirds, the golden mean or any such nonsense. They just go out and build compositions.
"Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk." -Edward Weston

I agree with the others: choose your composition based on what looks good to you. Another tip: ask non-photographers what they think of your photos. When I post a photo in an online photo forum I can usually predict the comments I'll get about what rules I broke. A critique from a painter or sculptor is often more useful.
thanks nathan and matt, very helpful and i shall ask a non photographers opinion. and yes i do agree, stuff the rules :P

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