Three is a good number

Schoolboys

As you know, I’ve been posting stories and pictures from my Journey Anatolia photography trip to North East Turkey. The trip is for all levels of photography and every evening we submitted an image for the Photo of the Day discussion. I enjoyed these sessions because I could reflect on the day, look at other people’s pictures and think about how I might shoot differently.

One of my takeaways was that whenever an image came up that had three people or objects, the concluding comment post-discussion would always be “… and three is a good number”.

I hadn’t thought about that. But of course, you get the optimal balance and asymmetry with having three objects. Three reasons are better than two when you’re arguing a case in point. Goldilocks and the Two Bears wouldn’t be quite the same, would it? Unlike the Rule of Thirds, it’s not a rule of thumb as such. But if you are fortunate enough to have three things in your picture, the composition looks a little bit more even … in spite of three being an odd number. Go figure.

~ Spotted Cow

Lady in doorwayThree ladies on a pilgrimage

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7 thoughts on “Three is a good number

  1. I actually learned about using odd numbers of items from an interior decorator friend of mine. Hard to “group” less than 3 and always better to group an odd number. Never made the connection with photography, so thanks for that ah-hah moment! Once again, great photos, but I absolutely adore the one in the middle – love the body language of the old woman, from her facial expression to her stance! Would be fun to caption that one 🙂

    1. I had the aha moment, like you. And I’ve never thought about grouping things in 3s when you’re thinking about interiors, but it makes sense. Right, I’m going to walk around the house and start focussing on the threes and the odd numbers !

  2. Nice photos. Aesthetically, 1, 3 and 5 subjects is pleasing on the eye. Next time you see a magazine with a still life photo, for ceramics, howmewares or similar, count the number the subjects. 🙂

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