What Is The Rule Of Thirds And Why Is It Important?

rule of thirds

Learn everything about the most important photography term – The Rule of Thirds here.

What is the rule of thirds and why is it important?

Rule Of Thirds

The rule of thirds is one of the most important and useful types of composition in photography. It says that the frame should be divided into equal parts, usually 9. This divided the frame vertically and horizontally, hence dividing the image into thirds.

Ideally, the subject should be placed at the left or right corner of the frame, covering the one-third area of the frame. The rest of the space must be left empty.

The rule of thirds is important because it allows the subject to be at a place where the viewer’s eyes first meet. Such spots where the subject should be placed according to this rule are known to draw the viewer’s attention instantly.

Thus, the subject is noticed at the first glance. Additionally, it gives the image a clean and professional look by making it more beautiful and pleasuring to the eyes.

This rule of photography is said to work most of the time for making an image look well-composed and more attractive. However, a combination of composition techniques can be used for different settings and different subjects.

What is an example of the rule of thirds?

Rule Of Thirds
@ Unsplash

The rule of thirds can be applied to all types of photography. However, it is widely used in outdoor photography.

For using the rule of thirds in an image, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions such as:

  • What part of the image do I want to first emphasize?
  • What other interesting parts of the image do I want in the frame?
  • Is applying this rule of photography really making the image more attractive?

Once you ask these questions, you’ll understand whether or not to use this rule of photography for your image, and if yes, then what points you should take care of.

For example, if you’re at a beach and have an ocean, mountains on the horizon, a sun, and a palm tree to click in a single frame, you’d first want to choose your primary subject.

Once the subject is chosen, choose a position and angle that can fit all your primary and secondary subjects into a single frame. Let’s say your priority here is to capture the image emphasizing the palm tree.

Turn on the grid from your camera settings dividing the image into 9 parts with 2 horizontal and 2 vertical lines to apply this rule of photography. Move your camera to an angle that can place the palm tree in either of the one-third parts of the grids while still incorporating other interesting objects.

Once the palm tree is placed in the one-third area of the frame, focus on the palm tree and hit the capture button.

The final image will ensure that the image you’ve taken seamlessly brings the viewers’ attention first to the palm tree and then to the rest of the image.

Bonus Read

Applying the rule of thirds makes sure that the subject is ideally placed in the frame, getting the attention first, and the whole image is looking beautiful and eye-pleasing. Experiment with this rule of thumb in photography and capture stunning photos.

Along with outdoor photography, this rule of photography can be applied to close-up studio shots including hand models, product styling photography, social media posts, packaging photography, and more. And, if something doesn’t feel right, things can be easily fixed during the post-production process.

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