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Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a powerful compositional technique for making photography, video and digital art more interesting and dynamic.

The rule of thirds is used frequently by photographers, videographers, painters or graphic artists. This rule is a compositional guideline origins go back to classic and Renaissance paintings and architecture. The rule of thirds is one of the fundamental composition principles such as the golden ratio and Fibonacci numbers in the practice of art.

What is the Rule of Thirds?

The good composition for a photography or any other artistic image is arranging subject(s) and background in an interesting way. Placing subject to the center position in the composition is not a good choice most of the times. You can avoid this simple error by placing your subject off center position by the rule of thirds.

Rule of Thirds
Grid and intersecting points in the rule of thirds.

The rule of thirds divides an image into nine equal imaginary quadrants using two equally distanced and paralel vertical and horizontal lines. The resulting grid and intersecting points shows you where to place elements of interest in the shot. Theoretically you would place your subject(s) and object(s) on one of these points and lines of interest.

Using the Rule of Thirds

If you are a beginner, using this rule will improve your photography or video. The main function of the rule of thirds is to create asymmetric or off-centered compositions. If the elements in a picture are centred and too balanced, it becomes boring for the viewer. The asymmetry and counterbalance of elements creates a interesting dynamic composition.

  • Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is mostly known as a tool for composing landscapes, especially. The horizon is placed on the lines in lower thirds and the mountains is placed off-center, to create a more dynamic composition. Another useful way to use rule of thirds is in the portrait photography, the eyes of the subject may fall on the upper focal point(s) and lines in the background also fall on upper or lower line.

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