has been running an interesting challenge: The Two Piece Exhibition
The rules are simple: you may use whatever support or background you like. But, only two pieces may be glued to that background. However much of the background remains visible is up to you. Each member may submit up to two pieces to the Two Piece Exhibition.
Apart from causing extreme angst for collagistes (like myself) who battle to restrain themselves and who need to buy glue sticks in bulk (or, if they are digital, need to have at least ten layers in the background before they even start adding semantic elements); the exercise has been an interesting test of composition skills and nerve. When you only have two elements to place, they have to be placed perfectly. Most of us do this by trial and error, instinct and intuition, and we kind of know when it "feels right".
I was curious, however, to test the Rule of Thirds and see how it played out on some of the submissions to the challenge.
The Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is a compositional tool that makes use of the notion that the most interesting compositions are those in which the primary element or the focal point of the composition is off centre.
You can apply this rule by imagining your composition divided into nine equal parts, using a grid of two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines. The rule states that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or - ideally - at their intersections. Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would. (Studies have shown that - when viewing images - people's eyes usually most naturally go to one of the intersection points, rather than to the centre of the picture.)