Rule of Thirds

Another rule of photographic composition is the rule of thirds. This rule is well known by most people that enjoy photography, however it is also one of the rules that has the most impact on your shots. This rule can take you from “taking snapshots” to “creating photographs”. In fact, when I look through the viewfinder, this is the second thing I look for after considering my exposure settings. As you can see in the photo above, this rule really makes all the difference.

Leaving room in front of the seagull allows for a feeling of forward movement.

Keep in mind that while this is referred to as a “rule”, it is really more of a guideline. You can find many situations where a centered photograph is better suited for the situation. For example, portraiture is an area where centered photographs can shine. It really depends on each individual situation and what you are trying to accomplish with your photograph.

Rule of thirds? Where did your eye go first?

The rule of thirds actually compliments the concept of negative space. Negative space allows breathing room to the photo and allows for the feeling of forward movement or provides the perspective of the subject. In most cameras, you can activate grid lines in the screen that provide the actual focal points for this rule. The iPhone does this, as well.

Try it out the next time you are out with your camera or phone. It might work in some instances, but you may reject it in others. Like anything else in photography, it is entirely up to you.

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