A Word or Two on the Rule of Thirds

Under the Gun

The “Rule of Thirds” in its simplest form is best described as a method for placing objects within your photographic composition so they lead to a balanced yet dynamic photograph.  It is one of several methods for organizing the elements of a scene to be photographed.  It is refered to so often because of the ease of application.  The

Rule of Thirds
Figure 1.

photographer while viewing the subject to be photographed overlays the scene with  a tic-tac-toe grid (figure 1.).  Moving his orientation towards the subject through the view finder until the key elements fall at the intersection of the grid lines or along one of the vertical or horizontal lines.  Many newer cameras will show the grid on your view finder.  You can also apply the “Rule of Thirds” to pictures you are viewing as part of the process of critiquing the picture.  To improve you photographic skills you must develop the ability to evaluate you own and other’s photographs.

Once you become familiar with composing photographs according to the “Rule of Thirds” you may find it is not always your first choice for composing a photograph.  Should you run out of other ideas, however, it is productive option.  If you don’t have a better idea, try the “Rule of Thirds”. 

Below are several photos.  I feel they represent the use of the “Rule of Thirds”, but then you might not agree.

AustinGreen PollySan Juan Wall


Ponce de Leon Light      Barbados Beach      


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