Definitive Guide to the Rule of Thirds

Definitive Guide to the Rule of Thirds

Written 10 years ago by Mark Evans

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Chrisdavid42  10 years ago

Sorry to be negative, but more an intro to the rule, than a ‘definitive’ guide.

Mark Evans  10 years ago

Hi, Chris cheers for your input, anything that you could add to this would be great! And of course if anyone else has got any more info to add to this post to make it more ‘definitive’ then please feel free to post here. cheers

steve  10 years ago

The rule of thirds is pretty simple, hard to think of anything more to make it definitive :) There are time where I find variations of the rule seem to work well: using 1/6 or cropping off 1/3.

For example…take a standard aspect ratio landscape photo with the horizon line across the middle and take the same shot with it across the upper or lower third and the one with the horizon in the middle usually doesn’t look quite right…but..if you take the one with it across a third and then crop away a third of the shot (but not the width) so that the horizon is back across the middle it now seems to work.

Similarly, a nice landscape shot often looks nice with a foreground object 1/3 in from one side (a tree for example). But try with a tree 1/3 in each side and it doesn’t work as well…but with a tree 1/6 in from each side seems to work.

Obviously the subject you are shooting effects how well any photo “works” and also a good shot can often be subjective but for me the rule of thirds works well as a starting shot for the types of photos I take (mostly landscape/wide shots…not action of people) and cropping along a third and framing symetrically along 1/6 often gives me pleasing compositions.

Experiment and find what works for you. A collection of “rule of half” or “rule of quarter” shots printed square might make a great collection when viewed together.

Rule of Thirds is more what you’d call a guideline :)

Candy Camarena-Dexter  10 years ago

thank you Mark and Steve for your awesome comments. I am learning photography. I love to take pictures, mostly landscapes. I love old barn, wildlife and the country, nature in all’s it’s beauty. I have a wonderful husband who takes me down different back roads to shoot old barns and we see alot of wildlife. My wildlife shot never turn out to well because i usually have to zoom in for them and it blurs them. I will try both of your suggestions. Thank you again.

JCdeR  10 years ago

Perhaps time to try something new, disregard any rules and just go for photogrpahy, ruels tend to create levels of perfection, and perfection is boring….. try different things, try new things

JCdeR  10 years ago

… nice and informative site by the way

throughHislens | sean  10 years ago

Also can be linked with the golden ration/golden rectangle

other relating posts: http://aphotocontributor.typepad.com/aphotocontributor/2008/10/the-golden-ratio.html

Rami T  9 years ago

i believe that rules should only be guidelines and not to always be followed you must break the comfort zone and try something new and creative because that is what defines you as a photographer

Gcon  9 years ago

Any compositional guide that doesn’t mention the golden ratio is a bit lacking IMHO.

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