Sometimes technically perfect does not translate to visually appealing. We've been taught since our photographic infancy to follow the "Rule of Thirds" to save yourself from making beginner mistakes. But the photographer from Denmark, James Allen Stewart, has gone against the grain and questioned the "Rule of Thirds."
Stewart has put together a great video illustrating why breaking the rules can actually work to your advantage, here's a summary of what's explained:
Balance Between Light & Dark
As long as there is balance portrayed in the photograph, the rule of thirds does not necessarily apply. He explains that there is a weight of light and dark that needs to balance to avoid "tipping" the image. All darker tones are heavier than light tones. Stewart demonstrates why he added light the left side of the image to add balance, which allows the viewer's eyes to relax on the subject.
Here's a couple more examples; notice how he isn't perfectly aligned in the rule of thirds line:
Direction & Story
This subject is rarely talked about, but he draws a great point. Most of us read from left to right; shouldn't that play a factor when composing an image to tell a story? Stewart explains that an image should tell a great story, which usually starts out soft, followed by the climax, and ending with a fading out.
He explains why decided to flip this image in post to help portray a more 'story-like' quality to the image.
The light coming from the window starts soft and warming. As you move your eyes left you see the subject which would entail the 'climax' of the image. And finally, the fading out dark tones inside the room to close the image.
Here's another example of a flipped image:
Stewart gives us a very interesting perspective and helping us re-think how we compose our images. You can view more of his work on his website.
Images used with permission of James Allen Stewart and his pug.