How To: Mastering the Rule of Thirds in Photography

Photography is one of the best gifts of technology for us to appreciate and capture nature and adventure.

That is why throughout history, people have acquired cameras which have also evolved from analogue to digital.

However, Photography is an art. It does not only entail taking random shots with no goal or technique at all. It has to be a medium through which people can see what the photographer has seen with his own eyes.


Image Credit: Alan Cleaver

And for that, photographs should be able to entice and attract people to see and understand the photos from the taker’s point of view. This can be achieved by using the Rule of Thirds in photography.

The Rule of Thirds goes beyond just taking a picture of a scene or object. It tells a story and shows an entity beyond what is included in the frame.

Here are some tips in using the Rule of Thirds effectively especially for Amateur Photography:

#1. Firstly, this is done by dividing the frame into 9 equal sections using two horizontal lines and two vertical lines.


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#2. Secondly, you should consider the important subjects in your frame and position them near the lines. If, for example, you have a man standing as your subject and he is looking towards his right, then this subject should be placed at the left side of the screen.


Image Credit: mootown

By doing so, the subject would seem like he is looking at something far from him.

If it is just a bust shot, positioning him on the left side would create the illusion that the one he is talking to is facing him even if that person is not included in the frame.

This also gives the frame some ‘breathing space’.

#3. Thirdly, if your subject is vertical, you should not put it in the middle to avoid it from splitting the frame in two.

Put it to one side of the frame and leave a space to the rest of the opposite side.


Image Credit: francois.roland

#4. Fourthly, Action Photography is also another thing to consider.


Image Credit: alantankenghoe

Since the subject is moving, it should be placed at the first section at either the left or right side of the frame in order to leave enough space in the direction it is going.

This creates the feeling of continuity; that even if the picture does not catch the movement, the viewer understands that the action continues beyond the frame.

Since Photography is an art, rules like this may be broken.

However, it is important that the photographer should first master how to use it before he experiments with not using it in his shots.

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