Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge – Centerpoint – Breaking the Rule of Thirds

I am participating in Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge Week #11 Centerpoint – Breaking the Rule of Thirds.

This was the most difficult Rule of Thirds challenge for me. Possibly because I’m not a ‘rule breaker’ by nature. One of the first things I learned when I started photography was to follow the traditional Rule of Thirds. Therefore, while searching my archives I found that I take very few shots with the subject in the center.

So…I went outside and took some photos. (That’s what I love about Cee’s challenges. It forces me to get out there and put her lessons into practice).

Here are a few centerpoint shots I took this weekend.

Here are a few from my archives.

And one more to celebrate the Holidays.


I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas week!



Weekly Photo Challenge: Gathering

A Christmas Gathering:


“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger.” Luke 2:15-16

“When the wise men saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.” Matthew 2:10-11

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: B & W

I am participating in Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge. The theme this week is the letters B and W.

I rarely convert photos to black and white. When I do, I’m never quite satisfied with the results. While selecting shots for this challenge, I found that several photos had too much texture and didn’t convert well to black and white. The main subjects faded into the background. Below is an example of this…

WISHING WELL: (Too much texture)


But these shots of the wishing well look much better in black and white. They have much less texture.

WISHING WELL: (Less texture, more contrast)



After some practice, I got better at selecting the right photo and editing it to black and white.







Thanks for letting me participate. As always, I learned a lot and I look forward to next week’s challenge.

Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge: Week #10 Using 2/3 of your photo frame

I am participating in Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge: Week 10 – Using 2/3 of your Photo Frame.

I was finally able to get out to take some photos this weekend. The weather here has been unseasonably warm. Temperatures that are usually in the 30’s, have reached the 60’s. I took advantage of this weather anomaly and grabbed my camera.

I found that I take a lot of shots following the Magic of Two-Thirds, even more so than The Rule of Thirds.

I love this door that I spotted on an old mausoleum in a neighborhood cemetery. Prominently positioning the door in the left two-thirds of the shot gives it lots of character.


The shot below also follows the Magic of Two-Thirds. Positioning the bike in the bottom corner with negative space in front of it, creates the illusion that someone will jump on and ride away.


I like this shot below because the small shed is in the bottom two-thirds of the shot. This gives it a unique look and makes the shed look much larger than it really is.


Last but not least, is my pug Princess Leia lounging in front of my Christmas tree. The lights create a nice bokeh and help draw the eye to her lovable mug. She’s just missing her crown.


Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge: Week #9 Rule of Thirds Introduction

I am participating in Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge: Week 9. This week’s theme is the Rule of Thirds. I try to keep the Rule of Thirds in mind when I am taking photos. I have noticed that I tend to take shots with the main subject in the upper right corner. I don’t do this intentionally, it just seems to happen. I have to remind myself to try different placements and angles.

Here is a perfect example. The flower bloom is in the upper right corner.


Here I tried to get fancy, experimenting with the upper and lower left corners.

But the thing I learned the most from this challenge is that you can use the columns and rows of a shot when following the Rule of Thirds. This can help anchor a shot and utilize negative space to highlight a subject.  I think the sunset shot below is an example of this. The dark trees at the bottom of the photo anchor the shot, but also create negative space to draw the eye up to the sun beams and clouds.


Finally, I’d love feedback on my last photo. I took this shot at a local amusement park this summer. This is a fun statue that everyone sits beside for a picture. I think it follows the Rule of Thirds since the statue is in the right one third of the shot and the rest is negative space. But maybe the negative space is too ‘busy.’ Constructive criticism is welcome…


Thanks for a wonderful challenge Cee! I learned so much!

Weekly Photo Challenge – 11/27/15 – Transition

I am participating in this week’s weekly photo challenge – Transition

“A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine.” Anne Bronte

Cornfields surround my home in rural western Pennsylvania. From May to October, I watch the fields transition and change.

Planting begins in May and the green stalks are typically ‘knee-high by the fourth-of-July.’ In August, the farmers start harvesting their crop.

But September and October bring the most noticeable change. The fluctuating fall temperatures turn the fields into ‘transitioning’ works of art featuring brilliant shades of brown, green, and yellow. The fields give one last ‘hurrah’ before winter steals their color for good.