Let’s take a quick look at composition. I was taking pictures of the Burlington Pier shortly after sunrise, and looking at the different ways I could position things.
Why does Burlington have a pier, you may ask. Well, so they could have something to put that mini lighthouse-ish monument on.
What’s the monument for, you may ask. Probably to make sure ships don’t hit the pier.
From my position there were a few options, and I’m going to post all of them to show what I had to choose from, how they each used the rule of thirds, and what impact that had. The main posting is the one I ended up deciding on, and it splits the scene at the bottom third of the frame. So in that lower thirty three percent of the image, you have water, and the only real subject of the image resting at the horizon line. Then the top sixty six percent is sky, showing some nice beams puncture through the clouds. It gives a lot of breathing room for the subject, and tends to have the eye flow from the bottom left to the top right when looking over the image.
Next we have a disregard for the rule of thirds regarding the horizon (though the subject still takes up the left thirty three percent of the image), which captures both the nice rays of the sky, and also gets the pretty reflection of the water. This was originally going to be my main pick for the shot, but the more I looked at it the more it felt off. I think in the end it came from feeling too heavily weighted on the right side with both the sky and water commanding attention, and since it was split along the centre, they did so equally. It caused the pier to just fall by the wayside.
Finally we have the other split, where the sky only takes up the top third. The rays are still there, however the pattern in the water is much more powerful and attention getting. That’s what the eye draws to first, and then it moves diagonally to the left towards the subject. With less space for the sky, the pier seems to have less room to breathe. You flow towards it and stop, rather than start at it and flow away.
All in all, while I do like the pattern in the water, not include it doesn’t leave me feeling like something is missing. Because of that, I now feel its inclusion means that something is there that really doesn’t need to be.
Full disclosure, this is being stated and described off the top of my head, and I’m still at the self confidence/expertise level where I don’t believe I have a clue regarding what I’m talking about, so if you disagree with the statements or ideas here, that’s probably totally valid.
For this I used my 24-70mm lens, shooting at 1/400 and f8, with an ISO of 100.