Thursday Tip: Rule of Thirds

Friends and clients frequently tell me that they’d love to learn to use their cameras better and I want to help.

Welcome to a weekly series full of camera tips and behind the scenes tricks from a professional photographer.

Let’s take better pictures!

If you want to take good picture, it helps to know the rules of composition. These are rules that you can follow to make a picture more pleasing or more interesting to your viewer.

And the best part? There is no technical skill required!

The first rule I’m going to tell you about is the Rule of Thirds.

Imagine two lines that divide your picture into thirds vertically, and two lines that divide your picture into thirds horizontally.

Like so:

According to the rule of thirds, if we place the focus of our image at the crossing of one of these points, it will be more pleasing to the eye.

It’s also suggested to place the horizon along the line dividing the upper or lower third of your image, rather than right across the middle.

In order to move your horizon, you may have to change your height by squatting down or standing on your tip toes. You may feel silly, but a little shift like this can make a huge difference in your final image.

Take a look at the pictures in this post.

  • Notice where the horizon (or other horizontal lines) fall. Are they approximately 1/3 from the top or bottom of the image?
  • Where is the main focus of the image? Is it at one of those four important intersections?

Now that you understand the rule of thirds, go try it out and get more confident about your images!

I’d love to hear how it goes in the comments.

Want to learn how to take better pictures? Follow me on Instagram or Facebook for updates about my latest posts or come back next Thursdays for more tips!

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