Hello everyone, I am so pleased to welcome Sabrina to the Toucan Scraps Tutorials Blog today. She is an amazing photographer and is going to share some photography tips and tricks with us. Today her topic is The Rule of Thirds.
I am often asked when others are viewing my photos, “How do you do that,” or “I wish I could take pictures like that.” Well guess what? You can! All it really takes is a little bit of knowledge and thought. Today I am going to share with you one of the most basic rules (and most well known) of photography, the “Rule of Thirds.” Now it is totally ok if you just scrunched your forehead and thought, “what in the world is she talking about?” No worries because I am going to break it down for you. First the “Rule of Thirds” refers to a grid that looks like this:
The basic rule is that the layout of the image is divided into three equal parts horizontally and vertically so that it is actually broken down into 9 parts or quadrants. The theory is if you place your subject of your photo on one of the four intersecting points of an image it makes it more interesting.
Here is an example of a recent shot I took unedited. This is Gambler Dan.
Notice that he is not completely centered? His neck and chest are aligned with the two left intersecting points of the grid. This also adds visual “weight” to the image and directs the viewer’s eye right to the horse’s face. This “weight” is balanced by the emptiness on the right side of the image (more on this in an upcoming post). By having Dan aligned by those two intersecting points he is also aligned with one of the vertical lines. Pretty cool isn’t it?
This shot would have been much more boring if I had placed him directly in the middle of my frame. Now, can this rule be broken? Of course! There are plenty of times when you can break any rule of photography for a visually stunning image but that comes with time. This rule can apply to anything from still life to your everyday family snapshots. Therefore, I encourage you to take your camera out and practice aligning your subjects on one of the points of this grid. Before long you will not even have to think about this and it will be a normal reflex when you pick up your camera.
And for good measure here is one more example.
This is actually one of my favorite images as of right now and it has been processed in Photoshop Elements and textures from Shadowhouse Creations, My Four Hens Photography, and Kalediscope. Once again notice that my subject is not in the center of my image but on one of the intersections of the grid. By applying this simple rule to your photos you will see a drastic improvement to your work. Have fun shooting and see how many different ways you can use the “rule of thirds!”
Tip: Most cameras point & shoot and DSLRs alike have a tool within them that will allow you to visually see this grid through your viewfinder or LCD screen. Refer to your camera’s operation manual for instructions on how to turn this on.
Thank you Sabrina, I'm looking forward to your next post.