Breaking the Rule of Thirds: Alberta Evening

Alberta Evening

It is amazing how strongly the Rule of Thirds is wired into the human neural network.  Cropping pictures, I slide the margins this way and that, looking for unusual ways to place my subject and compose in an interesting and unusual way.  Yet in almost all cases, the subject clicks into one of those magic four points, and the image suddenly gels and gains strength.  There’s no logical reason why those points should work, but they do, and most of my pictures have the subject situated according to this classical rule of artistic composition.

So it is with great pleasure that I take a picture where I can throw away the rule of thirds, emphasizing instead the wonderful symmetry of an image like this Alberta evening panorama.  Out exploring north of Calgary, I topped a ride to find this scene laid out in front of me.  Composing the image on the ground glass of the Graphic, I noted how the horizon and the road formed a perfect cross.  The scene called to me to bring to life the symmetry of the vertical and horizontal lines, and when I placed I placed their intersection at the exact center of the picture, the image came to life.  Waiting until the shadows lengthened and the colors picked up the glow of the setting sun, I took one image on Kodak 160VC with the semi-wide angle 68mm Schneider Angulon (approximately equal to a 35mm lens on a 35mm camera) followed by a record shot with the Droid X.

This is the preliminary Droid cell phone digital image.  The film image with the Crown Graphic will replace it as soon as it is ready.