Weekly Photo Challenge: Rule of Thirds & Bokeh

Our theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge this week is:  Rule of Thirds & Bokeh.
Our instructions:  “This week, compose your subject off-center, obeying the Rule of Thirds. Then go a step further and experiment with your camera settings and bokeh (the blurred area behind your focal point).”

The Rule of Thirds is a simple, yet wildly effective concept — by placing your subject slightly off center, you change the perspective and dynamic of your photo.  I use the Rule of Thirds almost relentlessly when composing photos, oftentimes forgetting I can (and should) break it once in a while.  Bokeh, on the other hand, has always been a little more challenging for me.  Most of the time, if I get interesting, or “good” bokeh, it’s an accident.

I’ve always been drawn to taking pictures of pieces of things, especially with my macro lens. This is one of my oldest and most treasured plants — my Christmas cactus.  It was a start off my mom’s Christmas cactus, which she and my dad bought sometime around 1970, which makes this cactus at least as old as me!  Right now, it’s blooming its head off in late February, making it more of a President’s Day cactus.


I snapped this photo late one afternoon, when the sunshine was flooding through the windows in my sunroom.  I love my macro lens — you can see each pollen covered anther (and yes, I had to look that up) on each individual filament.  Admittedly, there’s not an abundance of bokeh in this photo.  But I’m OK with that, because a bunch of bokeh behind those filaments would probably be distracting.  There is a subtle, ombre bokeh behind the filaments, which lends depth to the photo.  But again, kind of an accident.  The little peek of green bokeh in the background is unobtrusive, more like an invited guest.

Nikon D800
ISO 400 | 105mm | f/7.1 | 1/10 sec



  1. I love this! And I have similar blossoms in my house right now. I will have to see if I can get a shot, too. Great job!


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