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Photography Tip: How to use the Rule of Thirds

Techniques/ Tips

Photography Tip: How to use the Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds has been around for centuries, dating back to the Greeks. The rule of thirds is used in visual arts such as painting and design, but is most know for its use in photography. The rule of thirds says an image should be broken down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so there is a total of four lines and nine sections. The most important parts of a photograph should be places either along the lines or in the intersection of two lines.

By placing your subject or points of interest along the lines or in the intersections the photograph is more balanced and makes the photograph more visually appealing and interesting. People’s eyes generally go to an intersection point naturally rather than the center of an image, making the rule of thirds a very natural way for the viewer to interact with the image.

Today, most digital cameras have a grid setting that will display the rule of thirds in the LCD screen to help guide you.

Here, the seagull is in the center of the photograph making the photograph a little less interesting.

In this photograph, the photographer used the rule of thirds and placed the seagull at one of the intersections. Now the seagull has space to the right that he is flying into and creates a storyline.

The top horizontal line is where the eyes should be when taking a photograph of a person. The middle horizontal line is where the horizon should be when taking landscape photographs.

The rule of thirds can be broken, but it is important to understand the rule well before it is broken.

These are just a few of Duggal’s suggestions and ideas to aid you in exploring the world of photography. There are many ways to approach photography and countless ways to capture the image you want.  Please feel free to share some of your own ideas and comments.

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