Composition and the rules that accompany it are some of the most basic aspects you learn when first picking up a camera. If you’ve been a photographer long, it’s probably safe to say that the “rule of thirds” and “golden mean” are ingrained into your brain so well that it’s second-nature now.
That being said, every once in a while it’s nice to take a fresh look at the rules and the underlying concepts behind them — if for no other reason than because you have to know the rules in order to break them properly. Read more…
Want to see whether or not your favorite photographers are following the rule of thirds when composing their shots? Programmer and photography enthusiast Alex Dergachev has created a simple browser bookmarklet that overlays RoT gridlines over any (or almost any) web photograph.
Robots might not be able to convey emotions or tell stories through photographs, but one thing they’re theoretically better than humans at is calculating proportions in a scene, and that’s exactly what one robot at India’s IIT Hydrabad has been taught to do. Computer scientist Raghudeep Gadde programmed a humanoid robot with a head-mounted camera to perfectly obey the rule of thirds and the golden ratio. New Scientist writes,
The robot is also programmed to assess the quality of its photos by rating focus, lighting and colour. The researchers taught it what makes a great photo by analysing the top and bottom 10 per cent of 60,000 images from a website hosting a photography contest, as rated by humans.
Armed with this knowledge, the robot can take photos when told to, then determine their quality. If the image scores below a certain quality threshold, the robot automatically makes another attempt. It improves on the first shot by working out the photo’s deviation from the guidelines and making the appropriate correction to its camera’s orientation.
It’s definitely a step up from Lewis, a wedding photography robot built in the early 2000s that was taught to recognize faces.
(via New Scientist via DVICE)
The golden ratio is used by nature, photographers, and now… Twitter! Did you notice it in the new Twitter design?
After studying the ratio extensively, German psychologist Adolf Zeising wrote in 1854,
The Golden Ratio is a universal law in which is contained the ground-principle of all formative striving for beauty and completeness in the realms of both nature and art, and which permeates, as a paramount spiritual ideal, all structures, forms and proportions, whether cosmic or individual, organic or inorganic, acoustic or optical; which finds its fullest realization, however, in the human form.
Even if you’ve never heard of the golden ratio, you’ve probably heard of the rule of thirds. The two concepts are similar and related. Here’s an interesting article discussing them.
(via Laughing Squid)