Jun 24 2009

Composition and The Rule of Thirds

Published by at 4:06 am under General

Understanding the Rule of Thirds 

Knowing the rule of thirds can dramatically increase the frequency in which other people find your photographic images pleasing to the eye. Over time the observation has been made that photographs that have the main point of interest in the picture that you want a persons eye drawn to is positioned using the rule of thirds is generally more pleasing to the eye.

To get a handle on the rule of thirds just take a rectangular piece of paper and draw 2 vertical lines that divide it into equal thirds and then repeat the process with 2 horizontal lines. You will end up with some thing that looks like a naughts and crosses game.

Now imagine that the piece of paper is the view finder in your camera. The points where they intersect and the lines themselves are the powerful points in a photograph.

Being aware of the rule of thirds will cause you to access your subject and try to pinpoint what is the most intriguing element that you are trying to capture.

Some examples of how you might use this are:

1. Position the horizon on the top line or the bottom line of a seascape or landscape in the view finder.If the most intriging aspect of the image is the sky use the bottom line, if the land or sea is the dynamic factor use the top line.

2. Try to position the eyes of a subject near or on the top line ifor a portrait.

3. Position the main feature of your picture on one of the line intersections.

4. When a person is on the beach or out in the open when photographing them try positioning them looking into the image on one of the vertical lines.


Review some of your own images and see if you can find ones that you like that conform with the rule of thirds.

Finally be aware that even though we call it the rule of thirds use it as a guide and when you can find good reason to break the rules don’t let it stand in the way of your natural creativity.


To find more photography tips visit CanvasPrintsOnline.com

No responses yet

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply