The rule of thirds is the first thing you should try if you’re attempting to take better photos. It’s super easy to understand and will quickly imporve your photography with just a little thought.
What is the rule of thirds in photography?
The rule of thirds is a simple technique. You divide your frame (what you see in the viewfinder) into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Then you use these lines to position the things you are looking at within your frame. You can show these lines in your viewfinder in many cameras.
You can place things like the horizon or a building along one of the lines that divides your frame, and you can place interesting things in your photo at the dividing line of the lines dividing the frame into thirds.
Here’s a good example by Becky Robinson. You can see that even though the horizon in this image is not horizontal it approximately divided the sky into the top third of the photo, and the ground into the bottom two thirds. Also, and this works really well, the red bench is positioned where two of the lines cross.
In Becky’s second photo, we have the strong upright of the skyscraper following one of the dividing lines.
Dividing your frame into thirds and applying the rule of thirds is a great place to start if you want to improve your composition. It gives a better balance to your photos, and makes them more interesting to look at.
These photos are by Becky Robinson, who took part in our Beginner Photography Course.
by Andrew Mason