Monday, March 21, 2011


Last week I visited with someone here in San Miguel who told me about a photographer that he heard speak about composition and the rule of thirds.  I've also heard that when you have a "group" of things you should have an uneven number. Now these are good things to know about, but it isn't a good thing to let them rule your photographic life. And actually I never think about them when I'm photographing. I'm just working to make what I see through the view finder into a pleasing composition.

I photographed these children at a fund raiser for Feed The Hungry. I write about FTH often in my blog. It is such a wonderful organization that feeds over 4000 kids every school day. Kids that probably would go hungry otherwise. I hope that you will click on this link and go read some more about FTH and maybe even donate.

These children are from a very poor rancho, Los Ricos de Abajo. Very few of them are able to continue school after the sixth grade and they are not required to by law. The reason they don't go on to school is because the families can not afford the $200+ that continuing school will cost. Most of these darling boys will go to work with their Fathers when they are about 12 as bricklayers or whatever it is that Dad does. And the girls....well before too long they will marry and start families. But in this rancho, FTH volunteers provide some basic English classes for about 3 months every year and sponsor scholarships for the kids who want to continue on to Secundaria or middle school. This video on U-Tube  will give you an overview of what is happening at Los Ricos.

Last year and this year, the children danced as part of the entertainment during the annual FTH fund raiser. This year it was waltzs in white. You may be wondering where these children came up with all the white clothes....confirmation outfits borrowed and passed down in families. Not all of them fit perfectly but every child looked adorable. And you may be wondering about the girl's beautifully styled hair. I do not know how it is done but Mexican women can style hair and they love to get dressed in their best for events....even in the ranchos.

If you would like to help feed children, you will find how to make a donation on the FTH website and if you would like to help with the Los Ricos Scholarship Fund, please make that note with your donation. Personally, I feel so blessed that I am able to photograph these children from time to time and to help out at the school with the Library.

Sometime the best photographs follow the rules about threes and thirds and sometimes they don't. The only really important thing . . . Is it a good image?


Steve Cotton said...

People who get stuck on the composition rules often forget how they came about. Your question is the correct one: Is it a good image? But the academic types were not happy leaving such an important point to mere subjectivity. They wanted to objectively know what made an image pleasing to the eye. After looking at pleasing images, they came up with the composition rules we are now taught in photography and art classes.

But the rules are merely articulations of what our eyes can already judge: Is it a good image?

The rules are well and good. But they still remain secondary to the primary question. We both have seen photographs that comply perfectly with the rules. But they were not good images.

By the way. I just did the same thing. I launched into this discussion and completely missed commenting on what really matters. Your two photographs are not merely good images; they are great images.

Billie said...

Thanks, Steve.

Marc Olson said...

Yes, you have a way of photographing people. Great photos of the chlidren.

I agree completely with you and Steve. The rules do work, but simply following the "rules" does not mean you will make a good photos. And sometimes the best photos do not follow the rules.

I just posted some photos and a little be of navel-gazing commentary. Then I was reading this post of yours. The result is that the photos I selected all follow the rules. Interesting.

Emmiegram said...

Your photos of the children in white are beautiful, Billie. Do you mind if I copy them into my blog for the folks back home in Michigan, crediting "Billieblog"? Also, do you mind if I use them as part of a slide show presentation that my husband and I will do when we return to Michigan? Will also mention the charity.

Judy Evans

Billie said...

Judy, thank you so much for asking. Email me about it at bmercertx