What is the rule of thirds?
Perhaps the most basic principle of photographic composition is known as the ‘Rule of Thirds‘.
The “Rule of Thirds” is one of the first lesson that digital photographers learn about in classes on photography, and rightly so as it is the most basic principle for well balanced and interesting image captures.
Applying the rule of thirds
With this grid in mind the ‘rule of thirds’ now identifies four important parts of the image that you should consider placing points of interest in as you frame your image.
Not only this – but it also gives you four ‘lines’ that are also useful positions for elements in your photo.
In addition to the above picture of the bee where the bee’s eye becomes the point of focus here are some of examples:
In learning how to use the rule of thirds (and then to break it) the most important questions to be asking of yourself are:
- What are the points of interest in this shot?
- Where am I going to intentionally place them?
Once again, remember that breaking the rule can result in some striking shots. So once you have mastered it, experiment with purposely breaking it to see what you could discover.
Lastly, keep the rule of thirds in mind as you edit your photos later on. Post production editing tools today have good tools for cropping and reframing images so that they fit within the rules. Experiment with some of your old shots to see what impact it might have on your photos.