Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shutterbug Sunday: The Rule of Thirds

Have you ever heard of “The Rule of Thirds?” It is quite possibly one of the most essential parts of photographic composition, and I must admit I was clueless about it when a friend first mentioned it to me. Rule of Thirds? Composition? I remember thinking that photography was just about aiming and clicking that shutter button at something I thought to be a worthy subject. But, no! As I have come to learn, there is more to a great photograph than just getting lucky.

The easiest way to explain things is that an image is made up of nine equal parts (refer to the above example). The "thought" or "rule of thumb" is that when taking a photograph, the point of focus should be placed along these lines or match up to one of the intersections. When taking a picture, most people probably never think about this concept.  It's something I never used to think about.  I just took pictures and aimed my focal points where my “eye” was directing me.  I never thought that what I saw as a good shot, was actually falling in line with the rule of thirds. I always feel visual examples are the most helpful. Bellow are some pictures with the graph so you can see how the focal points in each image line up. If you've never heard of this concept, keep it in mind the next time you are out shooting and experiment a little.  I would love to hear feedback on the effect it has on your images when applying it to your photography!

Happy Sunday!


  1. I need to pay more attention to this myself. I end up shooting from instinct, without much thought. But, I need to try to focus on this rule.

  2. I struggle with this. Should the body be along a line or between the lines?

  3. Depending on the effect your going for it can be either. You can line your subject up with one of the "lines", or if you feel the focal point belongs in between the lines, try centering it in one of the boxes. When aquainting yourself with using this concept I find its easier to try to match your subject up with the lines first. After your more comfortable applying this concept, the best thing you can do is to experiment by taking several shots of the same subject and practice lining it up both on the lines and in the boxes.

    Here are some more examples of pictures applying the rule of thirds: :)


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