Going Off the Grid: Breaking the Rule of Thirds

I won’t start with the cliché that “rules are meant to be broken”, but I’m pretty sure that more than a few photography enthusiasts would agree with me when I say that the well-known Rule of Thirds doesn’t really work all the time.

For the benefit of the uninitiated, the Rule of Thirds is a popular composition guideline for photography and design, where you’re asked to visualize your image as divided into nine equal parts, pretty much like the one shown below:


The Rule says that the prominent elements of your picture must be placed along the lines, or intersections in the grid. Below is an image that more or less follows the said rule:


Image credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/emiljaranilla

Works pretty well in the photo above, right? The prominent element is placed on the lower left intersection while the horizon is aligned with the upper-horizontal line of the imaginary grid. However, more experienced photographers may actually consider the Rule of Thirds as more of a guideline than an actual rule. There are some instances when shots would look better (and actually make more sense) when this composition guideline isn’t followed.



Image credits: https://unsplash.com/@chne_

As seen in the example above, portrait shots show more emphasis and simplicity to the subject when it’s positioned at the dead center of the image. Much more when there are a lot of things going on in the background and you want to set the subject as the center of focus of the viewer.

Prominent Horizontal Lines


Image credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/emiljaranilla

Horizontal lines in pictures (like horizons, for example), are easiest to position to follow the Rule of Thirds. Doing so adds more depth and dimension to an image.

However, positioning the horizontal line at the dead center of the image also creates an effect of balance, and gives equal emphasis on both upper and lower halves of the picture. Check out the image below, where positioning the horizon at the center of the image equally shows the beauty of the sky above and the body of water under.


Image credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/emiljaranilla


Sometimes you get shots that are beautifully symmetrical on both right and left sides, that it just feels wrong if you’re going to ruin the balance. Take for example the image below:


Image credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/emiljaranilla

 Seeing that the lines in the image are balanced well on both left and right sides, it wouldn’t feel right to place the subject off-center. When you can see that your subject is in almost perfect symmetry, it may create more impact when the object of interest is placed at the center of the frame.

Night Sky and Star Trail Shots

Let’s say you have this really awesome shot of the Milky Way – you’d definitely want to feature more the sky and less of the landscape in the frame, right?


Image credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/emiljaranilla

In star trail and night sky shots like the one above, it only makes sense for you to move the horizon even lower to feature more of the sky. It also creates the impression of vastness of the night sky.

Under the right circumstances (and with enough skill), breaking the Rule of Thirds may actually make your shot more interesting and less predictable. But this doesn’t mean that you go ditch the Rule altogether and breaki it every chance that you get. Experimenting with composition is nice, but it’s a double-edged sword that can either make or break your shot.

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Our Ultimate Pokemon Go Beginner Guide: Everything You Need To Know


While several parts of the world are already miles ahead in their journey to become Pokémon masters, most of us here in Asia are left warming up the benches and observing from the sidelines – waiting for our chance to showcase how years of trading cards, episode marathons, and gaming have prepared us for real-life Pokémon hunting. However, if you think about it, having a later release date of Pokémon Go may actually work towards our advantage, as we can observe earlier players and get a few tips and tricks so we can start our own journeys right.

We did a little bit of research and foraged through the experiences of those who have already been playing Pokémon Go to get a closer peek at the gameplay. This, together with our brief experience of actually playing the game when the servers were still up, allowed us to compile this Pokémon Go Beginner Guide so we can all be more or less be extra-prepared when the game finally becomes available in our country.

This guide will be organized into three sections – TIPS, RUMORS, and Pokémon Go IRL.

*Disclaimer: These tips are based on the experiences of players from countries where Pokémon Go is already available – namely United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and some parts of Europe. Being a location-based AR game, there may be differences in the gameplay in your country.


  1. Choosing The Best Starter Pokémon For You (and getting Pikachu as your Starter)

By now, you probably already know that at the start of the game you’ll be presented with three Pokémon to choose from as your starter – Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle. But which one should you choose?

If we consider CP, Charmander may be the best option since Charizard, reportedly has the highest of the three – with a max CP of 2,602. Venusaur isn’t far behind with a max CP of 2,580, while Blastoise has 2,542.

However, Fire-types like Charmander are weak against three other Pokémon types, namely Rock, Water, and Ground.  Grass-types like Bulbasaur are weaker against more (Fire, Ice, Poison, Flying, Bug). Water-types like Squirtle are weak against two types only (Electric and Grass).

You’ve also probably heard that there’s a hidden trick to get Pikachu as your starter by running away from the three original starters four times (they’d keep on popping up after you run a certain distance) until Pikachu appears as one of the options. In terms of CP Pikachu isn’t really as competitive as the other three, but it would be a great starter option if you consider the fact that you’d most likely encounter more Charmanders, Bulbasaurs, and Squirtles in the wild anyways. That and the reason that Pikachu is super cute.

  1. Find Pokémon Types in their natural habitat

It makes sense that water-type Pokémon may be found near bodies of water, or grass-types to be found in grassy areas. But where do you find the types like Poison, Fairy, Fighting, Psychic, and Dragon?

Poison-types allegedly can be found in wetlands, marshes, and ponds. Fairy and Dragon types may be found in places of interests like landmarks. It’s possible to find Fighting Types in stadiums and sports centers, and Psychic Pokémons may be found near hospitals and residential areas at night.

All in all there are 18 different Types of Pokémon with a variety of strengths and weaknesses. Bottomline is, you’d be most likely to find them in areas where you can imagine their Type will survive.

  1. How to attract more Pokémon with Incense.

In Pokémon Go, you can use an Incense to attract Pokémon to your location. Most players would just wait for the Pokémon to go their way, but there’s actually a better way of attracting more Pokémon with this item.

Redditor __isitin__discovered that an Incense’ spawn-rate of Pokémon increases when you travel at least 200 meters between spawns. Waiting for Pokémon to go to you would spawn one Pokémon every 5 minutes, but jogging around would increase the spawn to up to one per minute. Looks like Pokémon Go is giving us more reasons to move around!

  1. Easier Way of Catching Pokémon

There’s a much easier (and more accurate) way of catching Pokémon than just blindly flinging your Poké Balls around.

When catching a Pokémon, tap and hold the Poké Ball until a circle appears. Its color would go from green, orange, and red, while changing its size at the same time. There’s a higher chance for you to capture the Pokémon when the circle is green, and smaller. It gets tougher when the circle is at orange or red, and the circle is bigger.

  1. Turn off AR

Another way of making it easier to catch wild Pokémon is to turn off the augmented reality. I know, I know…this makes it less fun, but this keeps the Pokémon from moving around too much in your screen – making it easier for you to improve your aim.

  1. You can request for PokéStops.

We still don’t know how “abundant” PokéStops and Pokémon Gyms will be in the Philippines, but in case your neighborhood is as dry as a dessert, you can actually fill out a ticket in the Pokémon Go support page to request to add a local landmark to the Pokémon map.

  1. Be Smart when Evolving

I know it can be tempting to power-up your Pokémon ASAP, but more experienced players are actually suggesting to do otherwise. The reason? It’s possible for you to find the same kind of Pokémon in the wild with a higher starting CP – which also means a stronger evolved version.

The better way of doing it would be to collect more Candies for a certain type of Pokémon, then choose to evolve the one with the higher CP. From there, you can start powering it up.

  1. You can get more Items from PokéStops

You’d most likely be always on the lookout for PokéStops because this is where you’ll be able to get items such as Poké Balls without spending too much real-life money in the game.

When you visit a PokéStop, you’ll have to spin a coin, which will then give you valuable items. After a single spin, the coin would then become unusable.

However, you don’t have to leave right away as there’s actually a way for you to get more items. Pokéstops refresh pretty quickly – that is every five minutes, and by then you can make another spin to get more items.

  1. Beating Gyms and Becoming a Gym Leader

Apparently, beating Gym leaders once doesn’t automatically transfer the leadership to you – it only lowers the Gym’s Prestige.

A Gym’s strength is determined by its Prestige Points. A Gym gains Prestige when it wins battles, and loses them when the leaders lose a battle. To claim a Gym, you’ll have to fight the leaders repeatedly until you reduce the Gym’s Prestige Points to zero (which also means defeating all Pokémon guarding it).

Obviously, it helps to team up with other players to take over a gym. If you win, be sure to leave one of your strongest Pokémon to guard the Gym, otherwise other players can easily take over. Note though that you won’t be able to use the Pokémon you leave in Gyms, so be sure you have other strong Pokémon in your lineup.

  1. Eeveelutions

Eevee’s evolutions may seem random at fist, but apparently there seems to be an Easter Egg on how to choose which Eeveelution you’d like.

If you name your Eevee “Sparky”, there’s a chance that your Eevee would evolve into a Jolteon. Naming it “Pyro” would result in a Flareon, and “Rainer” would give you Vaporeon. Just be sure to restart the game after naming to refresh your name-change.

This is still unverified though so well have to see for ourselves if this is also 100% accurate like the Pikachu-Starter Easter Egg.


Whew! That was a mouthful! Let’s head on to some rumors, which are more or less just educated guesses, but still worth considering nonetheless. Most of these came from a recent data mine of Pokémon Go’s coding, so there’s at least some reason to hope that some of these are true.

  1. Master Balls

Fans of earlier Pokémon games would know that the Master Ball is the only Poké Ball that has a 100% guarantee of capture. This valuable item seems to be missing from Pokémon Go so far, but the data mine I mentioned earlier also includes a picture of a Master Ball, so we can hope that it’s hidden somewhere in the game.

Pokemon Go Infographic

  1. Common v Uncommon v Rare

We made an infographic compiling a lot of players’ inputs, and we’ve reached the conclusion that depending on your area, there will always be a small number of very common Pokemon, a huge pool of uncommon Pokemon, and then the rare ones.

Once again, from what we’ve put together, it seems like the Eggs that you receive in the game to hatch are classified. Eggs that require 2  km of travel hatch common Pokemon, 5 km eggs hatch uncommon Pokemon, and 10 km eggs should hatch rare Pokemon.

  1. Getting Legendary Pokémon

Speaking of getting Pokémon other than the normal means – it seems that Mew, Mewtwo, and the three Legendary birds – Zapdos, Moltres, and Articuno are available in the game but not in the wild.

Just like with Mew, this assumption was based on the fact that these Pokémon don’t have a “Base Capture Rate”, which we think means that you can’t capture them in the wild. We can guess that these special Pokémon are reserved as special bonuses of sorts for special events. After all, one of Pokémon Go’s trailers showed some sort of timed event where several players join together to defeat a single Mewtwo.

  1. Mew

Another information from the date mine that’s worth to be excited about is the “confirmation” that Mew would indeed be in Pokémon Go.

The coding reveals that the Mythical Pokémon would be one of the most powerful in the game. However, it seems that it cannot be captured by normal means (no surprise there).



Pokémon Go has no doubt transcended the usual online gaming to one that makes a significant impact to the real, physical world. And I’m not talking about the usual claims that video games making people violent or antisocial.

In fact, Pokémon Go seems to have the opposite effect. Players are allegedly making an effort to go out and interact with other users in order to play the game. I personally know someone who usually spends his weekends inside his man-cave playing computer games, go out into the streets just to catch a Sandshrew. It may not sound like a big deal but a game that encourages people to actually go out of their comfort zones and interact with others IRL is nothing short of revolutionary.

Believe it or not, the mental and physical benefits of Pokémon Go seem to be real. Players are getting motivated to go outdoors, get some exercise, and even meet new people. I won’t go so far as saying it helps with depression, but I can tell that it definitely may help improve somebody’s mood. Have you heard that guy from New Zealand who quit his day job to become a full-time Pokémon Go player? It’s funny, and it seems ridiculous but it’s true.


But then again, like everything that’s fun, playing Pokémon Go must be done with caution. It definitely isn’t a good idea to play when driving, and you should still be mindful of your surroundings while going around “catching ‘em all”. There have already been reports of injuries and deaths attributed to carelessness while playing the game including a car crash and even a teenager who was shot dead for trespassing.

Not to mention the cellphone snatchers who’d be having a buffet, with all the players exposing their phones outdoors, eyes fixed on their screens. Definitely a possibility here in the Philippines.


With the game’s popularity online and offline, it’s no surprise that businesses have started jumping in on the trend. McDonald’s allegedly has a partnership with Pokémon Go for its release in Japan. Rumors say that McDonald’s branches in Japan will be turned into Pokémon Gyms, encouraging players to visit the said restaurants. Well played, McDonald’s. Well played.

Images have also been circulating online of business posting notices in front of their shops, saying that only customers can get a chance at catching Pokémon inside the business premises. Makes me hope that there’s a rare Pokémon lurking around my house!


pokemon go twitter

There’s a whole lot more to Pokémon Go that what we compiled in this article, with new Easter Eggs, tricks, and updates popping up every now and then online. It’s a real game-changer, so to speak, with the number of users rivaling social media platforms like Snapchat and Twitter.

For now, we can only cross our fingers and hope that the game gets release in our country pretty soon.

This article is contributed by Pokemon Master Geoff Ledesma. Gym Leader Bob Freking contributed to this article.

The post Our Ultimate Pokemon Go Beginner Guide: Everything You Need To Know appeared first on YugaTech | Philippines News & Tech Reviews.

10 Mindf*ck Movies About Technological Singularity

Singularity. Taken at the context of technological advancement, OxfordDictionaries.com defines is as “A hypothetical moment in time when artificial intelligence and other technologies have become so advanced that humanity undergoes a dramatic and irreversible change”. Picture this: A time when technology has come to a point when it becomes sentient, and starts developing the ability to improve or repair itself at a faster rate than the human brain. That is Technological Singularity.

Singularity has been the premise of several sci-fi films, with most of these playing around the possibility of artificial intelligence rebelling against humans. After all, leaps in technology over the recent decades are astounding. One moment we’re trading Pokemon cards and now we’re playing Pokemon Go.

In no particular order, here are 10 films tackling Technological Singularity which may leave your minds blown:

10. 2001: A Space Odyssey
This 1968 classic is produced and directed by one of my favorite filmmakers, Stanley Kubrick. The film’s plot revolves around a mysterious monolith, which seemed to have appeared out of nowhere in space. A U.S. spacecraft is sent to investigate, led by a team of astronauts and controlled by the ship’s computer named “Hal”. Having thought of being “foolproof and incapable of error”, the crew allows most of the ship’s operations to be managed by their computer-buddy. However, as the voyage continues, the crew becomes concerned of Hal’s behavior and discovers that he’s capable of making his own judgments too.

space odyssey

9. The Terminator Franchise
You’re most likely familiar with the Terminator films, and its unlikely supercomputer antagonist, called Skynet. When scientists decided to shut it down when it became self-aware, Skynet recognized the threat, and launched a nuclear attack on the planet, eventually leading to the war between man and machines.


8. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
One of several films that explores the possible effects of global warming, AI is set at a time when advanced humanoid robots called “Mecha” have already been developed. David is one of the robot prototypes who are capable of demonstrating feelings such as love. Determined to become a real boy, David sets on a journey to find The Blue Fairy , whom he reads about in the story “The Adventures of Pinocchio”.


7. Ex Machina (2015)
This is hands down, one of my favorite films last year. The movie starts with a computer programmer winning a one-week stay-over at the private research facility of Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac), the owner of the world’s biggest search Engine called Bluebook. Caleb eventually discovers that his vacation is secretly a part of a research to test the consciousness of Ava – a humanoid robot developed by Nathan himself.

ex machina

6. Autómata (2014)
Set in the 2030’s Earth has become a harsh planet because of solar flares, and humans have created humanoid robots called Pilgrims to assist in making the planet more livable for the survivors. These pilgrims strictly follow two protocols: (1) They may not harm any living organism, and (2) they are not allowed to repair or modify other Pilgrims. But what if one of these robots are capable of disobeying these rules, and start making modifications and improvements to itself?


5. The Matrix Franchise
Probably one of the most well-written and well-researched items in this list, The Matrix franchise would make you question reality as you know it. With a well-developed plot and subplots, The Matrix not only explores a possible post-apocalyptic future where machines have started taking over the planet, but also delves into several philosophical and religious elements. Much of the franchise’ plot revolves around a virtual reality created by machines called the Matrix, where humans are hooked into to become an alternate power source for the machines. The last survivors of humanity anticipates the arrival of The One, who was prophesized to end the Matrix together with the war.


4. Wall-E (2008)
Wall-E is a more lighthearted interpretation of technology rapidly developing that that it becomes at par, if not greater, than humanity. Wall-E is a robot tasked to clean up and organize the waste left on Earth, who soon falls in love with another visiting robot called Eve. In this movie, robots have become self-aware and are capable of feeling emotions (the two main characters even seem to fall in love), while the humans have become lazy, obese, and helpless without their robot assistants. As I was watching it I asked myself, who is serving who?

wall e

3. Her (2013)
This film has no robot-rebellion themes but it’s equally disturbing nonetheless. Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is an introvert writer who falls in love with an operating system designed with artificial intelligence, which he now calls Samantha. Samantha seems to reciprocate Theodore’s feelings, until a time when she evolves and upgrades into something more advanced. The plot may sound ridiculous but it’s not really farfetched. Doesn’t Samantha somehow remind you of Siri or Cortana?


2. Transcendence (2014)
The title alone already refers to Technological Singularity, so it’s no question that this Johnny Depp movie is on the list. Dr. Will Caster (Depp) is a scientist obsessed with the concept of technological singularity, which he also calls “Transcendence”, and continues on to build what he hopes to be a self-aware supercomputer. When a terrorist attack leaves him with only a month to live, his wife desperately “uploads” his consciousness to a computer, giving Will a virtual form. With him now being a sentient artificial intelligence, Will keeps on developing new technologies and increasing his capabilities, making the people around him fear and doubt his motives.


1. I, Robot (2004)
With a premise that’s similar to Autómata, I, Robot is set at a time where robots were created to serve humanity, and designed to follow three laws that regulate them from harming human beings. But what if one of these robots evolve and start having emotions? Worse, what if they become intelligent enough to question, and maybe even disobey the laws?


Artificial Intelligence and its transcendence are such thought-provoking concepts, which is why it’s no wonder that more than a few films have incorporated it into their plots. Did we miss anything? There are a lot of other films tackling this controversial subject, so feel free to let us know of your recommendations through the comments sections below.

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