Saturday, January 15, 2011

Amanda Blogs About} Photo Composition - The Rule of Thirds

Ahhhhh ... the "rules" of composition .... a frustrating notion to some ... an artistic necessity to others. But, one thing we all know is, rules are made to be broken ... so ....please don't think that you have to follow these rules consistently. It is more important to express yourself as an artist. Simply think of these "rules" as a set of guidelines that merely assist you in giving your photos more impact.

The Rule of Thirds

Considered by some to be the most important of the Rules of Composition, the rule states that any form of visual art, in this case a photo, should be divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines.... like a tic-tac-toe board. The idea is that the most important elements of the photo should be placed either upon the lines or directly at the intersections. Many photographers consider where the lines intersect to be the "sweet spot". Some feel that placing the most important elements of the photo on the sweet spot(s) makes the photo feel more balanced than centering the subject.

Centered Vs. Rule of Thirds: (photos below are property of Don Paulson)


Rule of Thirds

 For landscape photos place the subject where the lines intersect and the horizon on the upper or lower line

For lack of a decent, available landscape to photograph yesterday
this is what I came up with as an example. To make this photo work
correctly with the Rule of Thirds the tree line would need to be even with the
top grid line
A better example of a Landscape photo following the Rule of Thirds can be found HERE

 For portraits place the subject's face at one of the intersections rather than centering it. Make sure the subject is looking directly at the camera or is facing inward, toward the photo, to avoid leading the viewer's eye out of the photo.

Simple, Right? Of Course! Some DSLR's even have the Rule of Thirds grid accessible through their viewfinder.... making taking a well composed photograph that much easier. Happy Shooting!

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