The Rule of Thirds

In Essential Photography Skills and Tips by Dale Sinclair

The best way to describe the rule of 3rds is to picture an X’s and O’s board. Two vertical lines intersected by two horizontal lines.

Where the lines intersect should be your primary focus point – a person’s eyes in a portrait for example. If you are taking a landscape picture, try to place the horizon on one of the two horizontal lines that divides your field of vision into the 3 equal parts.

Essentially, use the rule of 3rds as a guideline for all things photographic.

Sounds simple, right?

If not, to make it even easier, many cameras and devices offer a grid overlay through your viewfinder or on your display. Read your manual if it is not obvious how to do this.

Of course there are always exceptions to every rule. Simply consider that this is one of the easiest things to learn and an indispensable guideline for photography, as it gives you a starting point on how to compose your photograph with the best possible outcome.

If you didn’t quite nail the correct composition & balance in your photograph when you pressed the shutter button, get to know your cropping feature. Many cameras will have a built in function that will aid you and of course, there is always photo editing software – the most basic of which, should have a crop feature.

With the rule of 3rds in mind, look through some professional photos and you will see, consistently, that this tactic is used with great frequency.

Ciao for now.