Rule of Thirds

 The Rules of Composition – Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is one of the most basic and most important rules in photography and one of the first taught in photography classes.

Using the rule of thirds you break down an image into three parts, both horizontally and vertically.  When looking through the viewfinder of your camera, you visualize a tic tac toe board.

Place your subject where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect. See in the photograph above how the eagle’s eye is almost perfectly placed.   The idea is to give your photograph more balance.  Studies show that the intersecting lines is where people’s eyes usually go when looking at a photograph or a piece of art.  It is the natural way of viewing an image.

Just like most rules, there are exceptions.

  • If your subject takes up most of the photograph, like a flower, you don’t need to use the rule.

You can also crop the photo using photo editing software (i.e. Photoshop).

  • This is especially helpful when taking photos of wildlife.  They don’t usually stand still for very long so you don’t always have time to perfectly position your subject.

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