Rule of Thirds in Photography Composition

Today I am going to enlighten you about Rule of Thirds, which is a composition technique that most people are familiar with. No? So let me explain.

What is the Rule of Thirds?

The rule of thirds involves dividing up your image using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines, i.e. a 3×3 grid, and positioning the important elements in your scene along those lines, or at the points where they meet.

The idea is that an off-center composition is more pleasing to the eye and looks more natural than one where the subject is placed right in the middle of the frame. It gives room within the photo for the subject to move or look.

It also encourages you to make creative use of negative space, the empty areas around your subject. Also if you want to submit your images to a magazine or even use them for some brochure or social media, the negative space allows you to add text and graphics to your picture.

How to use the Rule of Thirds?

1. When framing a photo, think about what elements of the photo are most important, and try to position them at or near the lines and intersections of the grid. They don’t have to be perfectly lined up as long as they’re close.

2. You can apply the rule of thirds to any genre of photography. In the portrait, the subject’s eyes can be placed along the lines of the grid. Similarly you can compose your macro and bird photos. In landscape shots, place the horizon along one of the horizontal lines. Also you can include an element like a tree or a rock along one of the lines, that provides an anchor, a natural focal point for the scene.

Rule of Thirds in Portrait Photography
Rule of Thirds in Bird Photography
Rule of Thirds in Landscape Photography

3. You may need to move around to get the best composition. Try out different angles and positions and wherever you can, don’t hesitate to move your subject here and there, so that you can experiment and see which composition looks more pleasing.

4. To help you out, most cameras have a setting which overlays a rule of thirds grid onto your photo. Make sure you turn it on to get your composition right in camera itself. But if at all you don’t get it right in camera, you can always crop your image in post production.

5. Sometimes having a subject to one side of the frame, can give a sense of void on the other side. So to make things even more exciting, a secondary element, like the sun or any tree, which is not on the point of interest but is alongside one of the grid’s horizontal lines, can help in balancing the composition.

Secondary subject helps balance the composition

Here are a few more examples of applying the Rule of Thirds

It’s a good idea to position your subject off to one side of the frame. This provides some “breathing space”, shows the subject’s environment, and stops the photo from looking like a snapshot. But like every rule in photography, the rule of thirds should not be followed blindly. There are some instances where this rule can and should be broken effectively. Some compositions look amazing with a centred or symmetrical positioning. But if you are a beginner, I suggest you master the Rule of Thirds and then think about breaking it.

Also Read – Simple Product Photography At Home

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