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The Rule of Thirds

A brief overview of the Rule of Thirds in photography
by

David Aams

on 21 November 2016

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Transcript of The Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds involves mentally dividing up your image using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines, as the photo on the left . You then position the important elements in your scene along those lines, or at the points where they meet.
Some cameras will have a thirds grid overlay
on the live view screen to help you take photos.
When you look through your camera
Check all your camera settings first (always)
Decide what is the subject of your photo
Imagine the thirds lines if they are not there or use the lines if they are there.
Put your main subject on a third line - this could be
a person
the horizon
a flower
a building
a natural line like a rock wall
someones eyes for a close up.
They don't have to line up perfectly - just mostly.
How to Use the Rule of Thirds
Portrait or Landscape
Portrait photos are when you put the camera on edge to take a photo vertical usually of a tall slender object.

Landscape is when you hold the camera horizontal for taking photos of the landscape or a group of people
In landscape shots, lots of people position the horizon along the centre of the frame, but this can give the
photo a "split in two" feel.
Instead, place the horizon along one of the horizontal lines.
The horizon and main subject in this photo have been
positioned near lines or intersections for maximum impact. Image by K Praslowicz.
But you should learn to take photos without a thirds grid
Practice on the board
Taking portraits with rule of thirds
When taking portrait photos here are some tips.

For people try to have them on one side of the frame

Preferably looking into the frame

On one side 1/3 it gives the whole picture some breathing space

stops it looking like a mug shot

Also we are drawn to the eyes so place them on a third line.

Try to have the eyes or head at one of the intersection points.
It doesn't have to be perfect, just close.
Practice on the board drawing the thirds
When your photo is not quite right
You can use image editing software to crop a photo to achieve the rule of thirds. The image below has been cropped to put the subject onto a third line and at an intersection point
A Final Word
When you have learnt to use the rules

You can break the rules.
Full transcript