Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rule of Thirds Photography

Rule of Thirds: Photo Composition Rules

In another article I have talked about some photography rules, and I told you that I will explain some rules later. Here is one of the most important rule of photography. In my previous article (Sunny 16 Rule: Photography) I told you there is no written rules that you must have to follow to shoot photos. But you have to have sound knowledge about those rules to become a professional photographer. Then you can break any rule. Great photographers know when to break the rules to take unique and quality pictures.  This is a must know rule of photography for beginners.

photography tips rule of thirds

Rule of thirds:

It is the first and most important rule to learn when it comes to composition. This basic rule is very simple and worth learning. Have you ever played Tic TAC Toe? Can you remember the board? The rule of thirds grid is almost the same. Here.

photography rule of thirds grid
Grid of rule of thirds

Here in this rectangular grid there are two horizontal lines and two vertical lines.  According to rule of thirds the four intersection points that divide the frame into thirds horizontally and vertically or along those lines, are the most effective places to position objects while shooting photos. While shooting portrait photos it is very important to care rule of thirds and of course better lenses produce better image quality.

Four intersection points are:

  • Top left third
  • 2. Top right third
  • 3. Bottom left third
  • 4. Bottom right third

According to the rule of thirds, the most powerful points in the composition are the areas where the lines intersect. The horizon of the picture should be positioned on or near the line of the third from the top or a third from the bottom of the picture. If there are any Vertical objects like trees or electricity post then those should be placed on or near the lines a third from the left or right of the picture. Most of the DSLR cameras and digital Compact cameras have the built in option to view grid lines while shooting. I know it’s not comfortable with a grid to shoot photos. But you should continue practice it for four or five weeks and then turn off the grid lines. You will never forget the rule. Your subconscious mind will always remember the rule for you.

rule of thirds sample for photographer
In the picture we can see the place of the boat is an intersecting point. That makes the view stunning. And also there is enough space for the boat to move forward. Lets see another one:

rule of thirds sample for photography

Here the line of the building roof is horizontal. That's why i kept the roof line as the horizon and the main object the network tower is vertical so i kept it in the thirds position. This picture was taken in low light condition. There are some tips for you to take stunning images in Low Light Photography.

Common mistakes of amateur photographers:

Sometime amateur photographers capture images like that:

amateur photography sample without rule of thirds

amateur photography sample without rule of thirds

In both picture we see the subjects are in the center in position. Those aren’t bad photos at all but it could have been better if the photographer applied the rule of thirds. See the pictures below:

photography sample with rule of thirds

sample with rule of thirds

In here rule of thirds was applied. And watch the difference closely.

Photography tips related to rule of thirds:

  • Every SLR and Compact camera has the grid view mode settings. Use this to get the perfect composition. 
  • While shooting Landscape photos use horizontal grid for the pond, lake, and horizon or if you find any horizontal line follow the line. (See the picture of Mobile Network Tower. Roof of building appears as a horizontal line.)
  • Use horizontal grid while object appears as horizontal and follow vertical grid line while object appears like vertical object. (Example, horizontal line for lake or pond and vertical grid lines like light post, trees or electric post.)
  • While shooting portrait photos try to place people’s eyes in top two horizontal intersections.
  •  Break the rule to capture unique photos.

Break The Rule of thirds:

break photography rule of thirds for better composition

SO why breaking the rule of thirds? Sometime while shooting indoor we find less space to move or in some cases we think its better to break the rule of thirds to get correct composition, then it is not necessary to follow the rule. Sometime we see if we keep our object in the middle we get better photos. It actually depends on different situations. Rule of thirds produces better photos in 85% situations.

Why do we think that the rule works?

These four spots are the main spots where your eyes naturally drawn, around the center of the picture. Those spots satisfies our sense of visual proportion, the position of the subject looks well balanced and easy to view. If you follow the rule during wedding photography, family portraits, wildlife photography, fashion photography and landscape photography certainly you will get better result.

Important Note

Don’t think this way that you always have to follow the rules. Let me clear you, this is not exactly a rule but a guideline to help you to understand more about photography. Learning all the simple rules is easy and those will help you to become a professional photographer. There are many photography books, photography blogs, websites and a lot of photography tutorials in YouTube and Daily motion. You can search for any topic in YouTube and you may find some good suggestions as well. And of course google is the best teacher. If you need anything specific then google search can help you a lot. Don't misjudge me by thinking that i am referring you to other websites. Remember knowledge is everywhere, you shouldn’t waste any opportunity.

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Hello, I am Mohibullah Mamun. A photographer and a Blogger. Here to share my photography ideas, tips, tricks and update tech news with you. (Read More)

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