Since I use some variant of Rule of Thirds in a lot of my shots, instead of posting a yawn here, I thought I’d show an example of conflicting compositional elements and the power of the rule. In the shot above, I’ve placed the statue just slightly west of center of the frame. (Yes, that is actually west.) It is the dominant figure, being a source of high contrast against the walkway.
The walkway itself forms a vanishing point that pulls the viewer’s eye along the side rails to the back wall. And, to the back, there is a couple, also high contrast, but positioned fairly close to a Rule of Third’s juncture.
When you first saw the shot, did the couple fight for attention with the statue, despite its dominant position? If so, that’s because the eye tends to break the scene naturally into the RoT point, or rather, along the left RoT axis. In fact, the RoT really just forms a golden ratio starting at the left of the frame. The frame is now split in two: the left formed by a line near the couple (pink below), and the right dominated by the statue who’s in the way.
We are naturally drawn to the harmonious ratio, and our mind wants to focus on the couple, despite the interloper in the center of the shot.
Which is, of course, why I put him there. He’s security, and you’re being nosy. Nothing to see here. Move along now.