“The Rule Of Thirds”
By: Marc Henderson – MBP staff photographer .
Yep..the rule of thirds. It’s a very easy to apply compositional technique that’ll add to the quality of your photos!
Let’s say there’s a nice flower that you want a picture of or maybe one of your dog in the backyard?
That’s great, you have your subject. Now, divide the viewfinder into imaginary lines of thirds – horizontally and, or vertically or both. You know, like a grid.
A lot of cameras have a grid option that you can activate to make this easier. Now, just place the center of your subject on or around the imaginary or actual grid line.
Sometimes when you do this, you’ll find that you may have to move around some to make everything fit in the photo.
Ok, here’s the magic of the Rule Of Thirds. Depending on the area surrounding your subject, you can add a great deal of dynamics to your photo. Telling a bit of a story, in a photo, with your subject or just adding some “breathing room” to a photo can be very powerful as well.
Here’s some examples.
(Click on the photo for a larger size.)
Here’s a sign without and with grid lines. Notice how the sign is placed in the entire left third of the photo and the birds are in the lower right third with the beautiful blue sky as a background with the clouds in the right side third area.
Let’s say you like the golf cart that you have for the day while out on the course. Ok..take a picture of the golf cart. Ah, then you notice the clubhouse in the background. Just back up a some and aim up and to the right, and you’ve added another element to your photo while keeping the golf cart prominent. More than just a golf cart photo now, huh?
A direction sign among the shrubs on the cart path at the golf course. Now, just backup a bit and move the camera to the left to add the cart path and more of the shrub. See? That’s adding more related elements to make a more pleasing and interesting photo.
Whether you’re shooting horizontally or vertically, keep the Rule Of Thirds in mind the next time you’re taking pictures.
Give it a try and keep experimenting!