Beyond the Rule of Thirds; Vanishing Points

posted on 30th of june, 2012

The rule of thirds is an indispensable guideline for composing commercial images, but there are other options out there! Have you tried using vanishing points to create perspective in your photographs? This is a concept that is used frequently in drawings and illustrations, but seems to receive less attention from photographers.

A vanishing point is a point in an image where lines that are parallel in the 3D world converge in a 2D image. This adds perspective and the appearance of distance to an image. Take a look at images below and see how they have applied this concept to great advantage.

In the first mage, the photog has used the converging lines of the skyscrapers to give an increased sense of height and size to the buildings. I like the way the vanishing point in the second image adds a feeling of movement to the speeding car! In the third image, the use of a vanishing point increases the perception of length in the hotel corridor adding a sense of isolation to the picture, since the man appears to be walking down a very long corridor all alone.

What can you do to add a sense of uniqueness to your images using vanishing points? Grab your camera or your sketchbook and try it out. With a little forethought and planning, you should get great results.

I'm always checking out new resources to increase my understanding of art and photography. This is the latest thing on my reading list: You Can Draw in 30 Days I decided to look at resources regarding drawing, because it seems that illustration is becoming an essential skill in the microstock business, but I'm finding many of the principles carry over to my photography. Share with me on Twitter @CynthiaPhotos

Comments (10)

Posted by Chanevy on July 04, 2012
Thank you everyone. It's nice to know that somebody emjoys reading my ramblings :-)
Posted by Kikkerdirk on July 02, 2012
Interesting blog!
Posted by Laurasinelle on July 02, 2012
Nice blog! Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Jdanne on July 02, 2012
Thanks a lot for sharing!
Posted by Egomezta on July 02, 2012
I like your blog very much, thanks for sharing.
Posted by Elianehaykal on July 02, 2012
I look forward to your blogs, that's a rule :)
Posted by Chanevy on July 01, 2012
*lol* Even when we break the rules, we follow them. It is so ingrained! The photograhers above are a true inspiration to me, though-so creatively done!
Posted by Seawatch1 on July 01, 2012
My gosh! You want us to step away from the "Rules?" How are we going to produce photos that look exactly like everyone elses? Glad to see some one with an imagination pointing out that a different perspective can be good. BTW, your photos still follow the rule of thirds but in much more interesting way. Thanks.
Posted by Chanevy on June 30, 2012
Thank you for your kindness.
Posted by Baldas1950 on June 30, 2012
Very interesting considerations. Thank you for sharing.

Comments (10)

This article has been read 1560 times. 3 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Absolut_photos, Alexey Stiop, Christopher Blackman.

About me

I have had a camera in my hand ever since I can remember. I was always the kid that wanted to trot down to the scene of the crime, or truck accident, or whatever, and get the images that would document that event for posterity. I guess its no surprise that I am naturally drawn to editorial and journalistic photography!

Grinnell, US

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