The rule of thirds is a visual guideline for photographers, which suggests dividing an image into nine equal parts to better communicate energy and interest within the shot. Most digital cameras, and even some phones, provide a grid to help photographers line up their shots in keeping with this rule. The idea is to place the subject along one of these lines, and the points of interest at one of the intersections where the lines meet.
In the video above, we review some examples of the rule of thirds in photography.
The red canoes (subject) sit along the bottom horizontal line, and close to the bottom left intersection lines.
Little Girl Example
The little girl (subject) is placed on the right vertical line, while her eyes (point of interest) sit close to the top right intersection.
When an image has equal parts, it holds the eye in an awkward suspension. However, when an image has unequal parts, the eye is led easily through it. For example, in the first image, the vehicle draws the eye to center, but doesn’t easily move through the rest of the image. The background and foreground have about equal parts. With the rule of thirds, we look to the car first, but then through the rest of the photograph.
The next time you’re out shooting, try applying the rule of thirds to your framing. You may find that it will make for far more compelling and visually interesting imagery.