Rule of Thirds in Photography

Rule of Thirds in Photography

The rule of thirds in photography is one of the most helpful composition tricks that help photographers create high-quality and captivating photos. It is significant to know and use this technique as it may be applied to any type of pictures.

What is the Rule of Thirds in Photography?

rule of thirds photography definition

The Law of Thirds is one of the most important rules of picture composition. When taking a picture, the photographers divide a photo into horizontal and vertical thirds in the imagination to get 9 parts.

rule of thirds templates

When you take a photo, do it through the viewfinder or in the LCD display that you use to frame your photo. Having this grid in mind, the rule of thirds photography reflects four significant areas of the photo.

You need to take them into account when you are placing points of interest as you are shooting. As a result, you get four lines that as well are important composition elements in the picture you take.

understanding rule of thirds

Moreover, according to the statistics, the rule of thirds in photography influences the viewers’ perception. When you put points of focus lengthwise the lines or the intersections, it balances your photo and it gives the viewer the ability to feel the photo better.

rule of thirds for beginners

As a rule, when people are viewing the pictures, they rather let their glanced well on one of the points of intersection, but not in the middle of the picture. Hence, the rule of thirds is the representation of the physiological way of looking at the picture.

How to Use the Rule of Thirds in Photography?

photography composition for beginners

Try to divide the scene like in the example above when you frame your picture. Highlight the most significant objects and areas in your mind and, according to it, place them in/nearby the points of intersection and lines of the grid. There is no need to put them in a perfect line if they are situated close to each other.

Be ready to change your positions if you want to achieve the desired composition. You have to think the photo over, which is undoubtedly a positive habit, no matter if it concerns the rule of 3rds or other photo tricks.

There also cameras that already have integrated rule of thirds overlays and it greatly simplifies your work. You don’t need to build complicated schemes and grids in your head, and the result is more precise.

Different Example of Rule of Thirds in Photography

This technique is rather universal and may be applied to all types of photography.

Rule of Thirds in Landscape Photography

 photo composition examples

Usually, in landscape photography, the horizon line is put along the middle of the shot. As a result, the picture seems to be “divided in two”. To avoid such effect, try to put it along one of the horizontal lines.

Rule of Thirds in Portrait Photography

rule of thirds photo

There are also some tricks using the law of thirds in portrait photos. Place your subject a little bit aside from the center of the shot. It gives some “room for breathing” and leaves the space for the subject’s surroundings.

Person’s eyes are significant as they attract our attention at first. You need to put them into one of the intersections of the imaginary “rule of thirds” grid. That will add a clear focal point to your shot.

Rule of Thirds Shooting Moving Subjects

rule of thirds activity

As for the objects that move, you need to place them as usual objects, but don’t forget about their moving vector. According to the general law, you need to leave more room ahead and behind your objects in order to indicate where they are moving.

Using Software for Creating Rule of Thirds

rule of thirds examples before and after rule of thirds examples before and after

When editing photos, you can also apply the rule of thirds in photography. Using this technique, you can edit your photos and improve them. With the help of such photo editing programs as Lightroom or Photoshop, you can crop your photos as well if there are some unnecessary objects or backgrounds.

The rule of thirds picture grid increases the accuracy of cropping and, as a result, gives a stronger picture.

If you use Lightroom for this purpose, press “R” button on the keyboard and the composition grid overlay will be activated. You may also click on the Crop instrument to enable the overlay. With the help of this function, you may crop your photos so that objects in the picture better fit in the intersections.

As for Photoshop, it has a more complicated procedure. But you may create your personal command with the help of guides, just go to View>New Guide.

Breaking the Rule of Thirds Photography Composition

The rule of thirds in photography is the most fundamental and universal composition instrument. It is the primary thing to learn for those who just start their photography career and, by the way, one of the easiest aspects to figure out. Undoubtedly, you may ignore the rules but firstly, learn them. In case you need to break them, you must be sure that you have clear-cut reasons.

photography rules

Let’s have a look at this picture. The subject doesn’t seem to have the points of interest and isn’t placed on any of the intersections. The same way, the rule of the composition of other significant objects, such as eyes and lips, is also neglected.

Importance of Composition

golden rules of photography

The compositional instrument is an extremely significant element for any kind of picture. Without the right composition, you will not be able to create or divide your image, selecting important and useless elements of the scene.

The rule of thirds in photography is important, although not the only attribute of the successful photo. The camera and lenses you use also matter along with you as a photographer. Your eyes, skills and experience play a great role in creating a qualitative shot.

Composition helps you organize your scene, subjects, objects, foreground and background. The better composition means more interesting and captivating photos, even if the location leaves much to be desired.

You create the composition from the perspective of the camera. Using this technique, you will be able to take high-quality and appealing photos. Although it is said that rules are created to be broken, it doesn’t mean that your photos must be unbalanced or dull.

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Tata Rossi

Hi there, I'm Tata Rossi - a professional blogger, read more