Rule of Thirds - Learn it, love it, break it.
In this post I would like to talk about "The Rule of Thirds" composition technique. To me this is the one rule that all photographers should learn, it is so simple yet the results can improve an image dramatically. Can I also say that like all rules, it can be broken and it is not one to "Live" by and you don't have to apply it to every image you take.
The Rule of Thirds is when we divide our image into 9 segments, 3 across and 3 down as in the diagram at the top.
The technique is to be aware of the 4 lines and also the 4 points where the lines intersect, we place elements of our image along these lines and at the intersecting points.
The theory behind this is that it is easier for the viewer to react naturally to this placement and it certainly creates balance in an image, sounds to good to be true ?? well the fact is that it does work and it is a fantastic way of fine tuning compositions and most importantly creating balance.
- With a single element or subject
- When you have negative space
- Use the vertical lines for leading lines or straight objects (like trees, lighthouses)
- The horizontal lines are good for horizons
- Intersecting points are great for placing the Eye in a portrait or a focal point of the image
Create a Rule of Thirds Grid in Photoshop
- Go to Preferences (Cmd K Mac - Ctr K PC)
- Go to grids
- Set Gridlines to every 100 %
- Set subdivisions to 3
- Click OK
NB: YOU CAN ALSO SET UP GRID LINES ON MOST CAMERAS, SO EXPLORE YOUR MENU TO SEE IF YOU CAN. THIS WILL HELP WHEN YOU ARE COMPOSING YOUR IMAGES
How to turn on and off Grids
PC - Ctr '
Or View / Show / Grids from the menu bar
Examples of The Rule of Thirds
Some examples of when we don't have to apply this rule
So my advice is to explore the rule of thirds, if you have trouble with composition then this will certainly help you to create images that are pleasing to view and sit well within the frame. And remember that it dosn't always work and we don't have to apply it so Learn it, Love it and know when to Break it.
Thanks for reading, please share with your friends and leave a comment.