== Love Photography == Delight in Light ==

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Rule of Thirds

The "rule of thirds" is probably one of the most often quoted compositional "rules" in photography (probably because it's got a convenient name - the others don't really seem to have names). It says that rather than placing your subject in the centre of the frame you should divide your frame up into thirds vertically and horizontally like this:

Rule of Thirds

Then you should position your subject (or subjects) either at the intersections (like the blue circle in this illustration), or along the vertical or horizontal lines (like the blue line in this illustration). So, according to this rule, for example, the picture below on the left is better than the one on the right:

Bottles 2 Bottles 1

Now, this "rule" is the subject of much derision, with many people expounding the fact that using the rule of thirds is not a guarantee of success - and of course, they are right - there are no hard and fast rules in art.

However, it is based on a good principle - don't just point your camera at something and "shoot" it (that's what you do in marksmanship, not photography) - rather think about where the subject should be in the frame so that it looks most interesting. Then if you place the subject smack in the middle of the frame, it's because you wanted to, not just because you didn't think about it.

Remember, your camera is an artist's tool - not a weapon.

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