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Oct 30

Photography Tip – Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is an easy way to make your pictures have a little bit more of a pop to them than just having all your pictures lined up in the center.  It does not mean you need to follow this advice every time, and like most rules sometimes they just need to be broken.  The rule basically states that a picture should be divided up into nine equal parts by two horizontal lines and two vertical lines.  Think of it as a tic-tac-toe grid on your camera.  In fact, a lot of the digital cameras will put this grid on your display screen when you hit the display button.  I know my Canon Powershot has though I do not use it because I find it a little distracting trying to look through the lines.  I would just rather line it up myself.   

If you want think of the Rule of Thirds as several mini rules wrapped into one when you are out taking pictures it might be easier to put into action the next time you are taking photographs.

Rule #1- Along Vertical Lines

onethird waterfall
This example shows a waterfall from Hawaii along a vertical line.  It help gives a sense of space that probably would not be there if I had placed the waterfall smack dab into the middle the shot.  Having the focal point of the picture along the vertical line will help you keep the subject from always being in the center, which will keep the picture from being uninteresting. 

 Rule #2- Along Horizontal Lines

onethird Sunset
This example shows the row of trees in line with the bottom horizontal line.  This once again gives a sense of space of the evening sky.  If the rows of the trees were in the middle of the shot then the full impact of the setting sun on the sky would not be felt, because a lot of the colors would be missing. 

 Rule #3- At the Power Points

onethird sea turtle
Place your focal point, or subject, at the intersection where the horizontal and vertical lines meet up.  The human eye is naturally taken to those points before it makes its way around the picture.  Using a leading line which you can learn more about by clicking here to a power point is a great way to set up a picture.  In this photograph, a green sea turtle is on the upper right power point. 

 Rule #4 – Combine Them

onethird temple
Place your key element along a vertical or horizontal line and on a power point.  I have placed the temple at the upper right power point but it is also along the upper horizontal line.  There is also a leading line which is the road to the temple.  By blending several rules or elements the picture becomes easier to follow and easier on the eye.

Good luck and have fun with your photography!

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1 comment

  1. freda phillips

    As Griffin would say “Oh.”

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