Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday's Photo Tip - Rule of Thirds

Friday's Photo Tip - Rule of Thirds

horizon at the ocean in the upper third of the frame

Have you ever heard about the "Rule of Thirds"?

Can you tell from the above photo what it might be relating to?

Take a look at the horizon and where it is located in the photo.

The actual rule states:

"An image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections."

By doing this, it creates a more interesting composition.

Having the horizon exactly in the center seems to divide the image and can make it appear boring or look like something is missing in the photo.

It is also more pleasing to the eye to have the image divided into thirds.

When framing the above photo in the viewfinder, I placed the horizon in the upper third, leaving more of the beautifully colored ocean to drawn the eye into the scene.

If the sky had been filled with clouds instead of just empty blue, then I may have put the horizon in the lower third like I did for this photo I used in a post last week.

This rule of thirds has been used in visual arts dating back to paintings in the 1700's.

Did you check out the photo I had in the link? That one and the one above were taken on the same day - about an hour apart. Those clouds moved in awfully fast that day!


  1. I keep forgetting this rule of thirds.... it is so basic but so important. Checked out the link... you are right, your clouds do move fast...

  2. I'm really enjoying your Friday photo lessons, Kathy.

    The rule of thirds is one of those principles that should become second nature to photographers.


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