How Do You Apply The Rule Of Thirds To Your Photos


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If you’d like to learn a little technique which many professional photographers use to spice up their photos, here’s one that you’ll never stop using if you’re not using it already…

There is a principle in photography known as the ‘thirds composition’ or the ‘Rule of Thirds’.

In photography classes it is in most cases one of the first things you learn. Why? Because it is the base platform for balance and also adds an element of interest to the observer.

Many will say that this rule doesn’t always apply and that’s true - it doesn’t. But as a rule of thumb, it’s a good principle to follow. Just ensure if you decide to slip outside this rule, that you think about first because in most cases the rule of thirds applies well.

A good simple way to understand the rule of thirds is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have 9 parts.

While you’re checking your image you should do this in your mind through your viewfinder or in the LCD display when you frame your shot.

With the 9 part format (3 verticle and 3 horizontal) in mind, the ‘rule of thirds’ now identifies four important parts of the image that you should consider placing points of interest in while you frame an image.

In addition, it also gives you four ‘lines’ that are useful locations for elements in your photo.

How this works is, that if you place points of interest in the intersections or along the lines, your photo becomes more balanced and will allow the viewer to interact with the image more naturally. Some studies have indicated that when viewing images, people’s eyes usually head to one of the intersection points more naturally rather than the centre of the shot - by using the ‘rule of thirds’ we allow the viewer the opportunity to view the image or photo in a more natural manner.

Using the rule of thirds doesn’t always come to you straight away but I guarantee it will come to you in time if you keep practicing. Here are some excellent thoughts or questions you should ask yourself while practicing the thirds rule;

- Which are the points of interest in the shot I am about to take?

- Where do I intend to place them?

- Remember - you can break the rule and this can result in some excellent shots - so once you’ve learned it, experiment a little to see what you come up with.

Finally - when you edit your photos keep the rule in mind. You can also make some excellent changes during post production of your photos on editing tools today with cropping and reframing.

This article has been supplied courtesy of Roy Barker. Roy often writes and works closely with Profitable Photography Business . This site is dedicated to coaching you in starting your own photography business but places a strong emphasis on profitability issues & guidelines. You can also gain many photography resources (some free) from Digital Photography If you seek further guides, helpful hints, articles and news, you can go to which also has a Photographers Forum for exchange of views with other photographers.


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