Harmony and the Rule of Thirds on Miyajima Island

The Lens-artists challenge this week is to focus on the ”rule of thirds,” a widely-used tool for composing photographs.

I find the rule of thirds handy at times to achieve visual balance in a photograph.

Such as on Miyajima Island, famous for its Great Torii, the most popular tourist attraction in Japan.

Though the Torii looks small compared to the mountains behind it, its bright red color gives it visual weight, adding a focal point and counterbalancing the rest of the image.

Coming closer, the Torii strikes me with its symmetry, and I think a centered composition works well. Including the people in the image gives it scale.

I do notice that the posts and roofline of the Torii overlap the ”thirds” grid, perhaps a subconscious coincidence.

Even closer, among the barnacles on the Torii posts, coins are placed for good luck.

Placement on the “thirds” is a good choice for breaking patterns.

Speaking of patterns, this temple breaks through the forest trees on Mt. Misen but is somehow in harmony with its surroundings.

And speaking of harmony, the statue of Kannon, goddess of mercy and compassion in the Daisho-in Buddhist Temple, invites us to be at peace with ourselves and with others.

Even the Fire god co-exists with the rain.

These deer have found peace and harmony on Miyajima Island.

Perhaps some “rules” can help us, but ultimately each one has to find that balance and harmony from within, be it in photography or in life.


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