Composition is about how we build our photographs. It’s not a subject peripheral to photography: it’s dead central. Or sitting slightly off-centre on one of the thirds. Unless you talk to Andrew S. Gibson about it, then the conventional rule of thirds gets a bit of a much-needed overhaul.
When Andrew sent me the proposal for his latest eBook, I sat on it for a while. I was in the middle of my own book about composition, and wasn’t at all ready to consider publishing someone else’s. But I’ve long believed that complimentary voices are stronger than competitive ones, so when I finally surfaced and read Andrew’s book, I was happy to see we were both writing about similar things, but in different ways and from different directions.
BEYOND THIRDS is an eBook about taking composition past the so-called rules. It’s a thoughtful, practical book about the way we build our photographs within the constraint of the frame. When I first started studying composition I was frustrated by all the disconnected discussion about leading lines and balance, conversations I felt I was dropping into the middle of, never quite knowing what the authors meant. Andrew’s book is free from that pretense, and what I like about it most is his intentional decision to move past the so-called rule of thirds, and to treat that rule with some suspicion. Anarchy has a place in art, and if there’s one thing we’d do well to question, it’s WHY we keep using these so-called rules. BEYOND THIRDS does that.
If you’re looking to probe into questions of composition a little deeper, BEYOND THIRDS is a great place to do that. It’s not encyclopedic, but like all the C&V titles, it’s meaty without being pedantic or academic, and I think that makes learning, and making this kind of teaching our own, much easier.
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Special Offer on PDFs: Use the promotional code BT4 and you can have the PDF version of Beyond Thirds for only $4 OR use the code BT20 to get 20% off when they buy 5 or more PDF ebooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST November 19th, 2011.