Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Proportions and the Rule of Thirds

This image is copyrighted

As an art student, I learned about "the rule of thirds" which isn't a rule at all, only a guideline. The "rule" says that proportions in images, colors, and form are often more pleasing when presented in thirds, rather than by halfs or quarters. The 77DX is a little bit long to carry this off, but it is close. If you examine paintings, prints and photographs, you will see that many of the more successful artists follow the rule of thirds.


Audiophiles are already familiar with their own rule of thirds, which corresponds with the so-called odd order harmonic sound, vs the even order harmonic sound. Audio dogma says the second harmonic sounds more pleasant to us. Could these be related phenomena? Maybe they are, possibly for the same unexplained, innate reason that images with thirdlike proportions do.

I'm not convinced about the oft-mentioned tube vs transistor even vs odd harmonic thing, which is commonly accepted. Some real measurements are in order.

Just a thought.

By the way, if you google "rule of thirds" you will get to a lot of places where the idea is presented incorrectly in my opinion. Wikipedia gets it wrong also. It is much more than just a grid or rigid frame, or format. One must consider weight, color, importance of the area (face vs cloud) and other aspects to determine the "thirdness" of a visual scene. Images are massively parallel, music not so much.


No comments: