View Full Version : rule of thirds image for certification

07-23-2012, 05:58 PM
This image was failed because of lighting, however, it does demonstrate the rule of thirds and the high contrast lighting was used to add drama to the image. According to the rules of the submission, rule of thirds should demonstrate subject placement and organization.

07-23-2012, 07:36 PM
But you can't ignore all other facets of the exam for just the exhibit of one. It has to be a whole product.

07-23-2012, 07:43 PM
Yes, she is placed on a rule of thirds line, but in this small size image, I cannot tell if there is still detail in the shadows. I understand your intended use of high contrast for drama, but if the shadows block up, the image will not be accepted for a CPP qualification image. In addition, her pose seems somewhat awkward and not really attractive.

07-23-2012, 07:46 PM
what does this mean? what is the other criteria? So, because I used dramatic lighting, it isn't a rule of thirds image? If there are particular lighting requirements for a 'rule of thirds' image in addition to 'subject placement and organization' they should be clearly stating it on the rules sheet. The whole 'gist' of a rule of thirds image is that they are usually more dramatic than the 'typical' centered shot anyway, so what does lighting have to do with it?

07-23-2012, 07:55 PM
There is no "gist" that a rule of thirds image has to be more dramatic or have more dramatic lighting. Rule of thirds is about composition, and no matter how it is composed, the lighting must be acceptably executed.

07-23-2012, 07:58 PM
in response to Rick's comment, I don't see any detail in the shadows of the PPA rule of thirds sample image, where the hair meets the face on the left side, yet they are using it as an example of a rule of thirds image. Whose rule is it that in order to be a 'rule of thirds image' there has to be details in the shadows? The rule clearly states that the rule of thirds image must "demonstrate subject placement and organization". If lighting is a part of it, they should state that there should be detail in the shadows of a rule of thirds image.
Here is my definition of 'Rule of Thirds" according to my text book. "Mentally divide the picture area into thirds, both vertically and horizontally. Any of the four points that intersect within the picture space has been suggested to be a "natural" for emphasizing the dominant subject and the secondary points of interest located at any of the other points of intersection also tend to be emphasized. According to this guideline, details elsewhere in the photograph tend to be subordinated".

07-23-2012, 08:19 PM
Whose rule is it that in order to be a 'rule of thirds image' there has to be details in the shadows?

It's a generally accepted general rule that shadows must not be blocked up and there must be some detail in the shadow area. It's not my rule, it's a generally accepted guideline. The way the judges see it is that if a shadow looks like it's going to block up, then some kind of additional lighting should have been used to open up that shadow area (add a reflector or fill light) - a professional photographer would know that the shadow had to be opened up and would have used the appropriate lighting to do so. I know that if I had created an image of a musician for an album cover, It would probably not be acceptable to the promoter to deliver an image with unprintable shadow detail.

Textbooks and textbook definitions are great guidelines, but remember that all CPP entries are supposed to be demonstrations of professional quality work. If they are not considered by the judges to be examples of professional quality work, then the images are not going to be accepted.

As far as PPA's example of a rule of thirds image, I haven't seen this image - please post a link to it's location.

07-23-2012, 08:25 PM

07-23-2012, 08:42 PM
I just looked at Bert's sample rule of thirds image - the lighting in the image is well done and there is detail in the shadows of the face. I think that you're barking up the wrong tree saying that there is no detail in the shadow of the sample image.

07-23-2012, 08:47 PM
I also find the sample image for 'selective focus' quite distracting. The selective focus image description states that the selective focus image should 'demonstrate how the viewers attention is impacted by selective focus". My eye has a very difficult time focusing on the center of interest because of everything else going on in the background and around the 'center of focus' which I'm assuming is supposed to be the rings? Because of the reflection of the rings, I can't focus on the rings themselves which are supposed to be where my attention is impacted.
Also, while we're talking about the sample images, the 'high key' sample seems to be quite flat. I don't see the contrast that you spoke of when critiquing my high key image. The low key sample image is very distracting, and other than the separation at the end of the horn and just below the horns shadow, I don't get a sense of low key with this image at all. Also, I don't find the detail that you speak of and the highlight on the subjects neck, draws your attention to a totally non-descript area, which draws my eye right out of the photo never wanting to go back.

07-23-2012, 09:07 PM
I'm not going to waste time critiquing the sample images because that is NOT where your focus needs to be. You need to refocus yourself on figuring out learning what YOU need to learn to pass your CPP instead of spending your time trying to pick apart the system and the samples. I'm willing to help, but I'm not willing to argue about the system.

07-23-2012, 10:42 PM
I'm not trying to argue with anyone especially the 'system', and I sincerely appreciate everyone's comments, help and assistance. But, if the sample images and the descriptions of the requirements don't exactly explain and demonstrate what is required of the people submitting images for certification how is anyone supposed to pass? How do the judges come up with their opinions if the criteria isn't absolute? Also, if some images pass one time and not the next time, it tells me that the judging is more 'subjective' than actually being based on the technical aspects that are supposedly required to pass.

07-23-2012, 10:53 PM
But, if the sample images and the descriptions of the requirements don't exactly explain and demonstrate what is required of the people submitting images for certification how is anyone supposed to pass?

People pass every year....so it can't be a completely flawed plan.

But step back for a second. Let's pretend the requirements are in fact confusing and don't help you at all. Forget that they feel like they are contradicting.

Are you seeing what everyone is saying to you regarding your current images? Don't say, "yeah, but...." Are you seeing what they are seeing?

A great plan would be to start fresh. Post images here (as you can see, you can get great feedback) and go from there. Take what you learn here, from those who HAVE passed, from those who HAVE judged. Ask your questions, try again and again. Take those images and try again next time.

Everyone here wants to see you succeed. And while I understand your need for clarification and justice.....I think your energy would be better spent moving forward.

07-23-2012, 10:56 PM
How can an image pass one time and not the next? The answer is simple. The image was marginal and the first judge let it go by and passed it, but the second one took exception to it and didn't let it pass. If your images are ALL good - you will pass the first time around. If your images are marginal, then you might get mixed results with some letting the marginal images pass and others saying no way. I've seen four of your images so far and if I were a judge, I would have said no to three and a very marginal maybe on the fourth (the fourth being your rule of thirds image).

Your focus on "problems" that you think exist within the system is your problem - your images need to improve to pass - with your current images, you probably will not pass.

And to your question of how is anyone supposed to pass.... I passed it the first time with no problems...
To put it another way - not every bookkeeper can pass the CPA exam the first time they take it. So they go back and study and learn what they didn't know the first time. They don't complain that the test is rigged, unfair, unclear or confusing, they go back and study and improve and eventually one day they get good enough to pass - eventually, some of the bookkeepers become CPA's. It's the same thing with photographers - not everyone who picks up a camera can be a CPP right out the box. Being a CPP means that you are capable of handling just about anything that they throw at you in a photographic situation. That you know what needs to be done and are capable of executing professional level imagery at a moments notice without a second thought. It means that you know what is needed to overcome any lighting challenge that they throw at you. It means that the client can depend on your abilities - that's why the judges are so careful about not approving someone who is not qualified.

07-23-2012, 11:04 PM
Thank you for your constructive criticism. It is sincerely appreciated.