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The Rule of Thirds

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The Rule of Thirds

Christy Haygood

RuleofThirds

If you have looked into any type of photography tips, you have probably heard of The Rule of Thirds.

I have to admit….for some reason It has taken me a long time to be aware of the rule of thirds while I am photographing.  Now that I keep it in mind while shooting I have discovered how much better it can make photos.  I will say that there are still times when I break this rule….but for the most part I try to keep this rule in mind.

What is The Rule of Thirds?

Simply put the Rule of Thirds mean that your subject or focal point is not centered in the photo….More specifically your focal point lands on the top third, bottom third, left third or right third of the photo.

Imagine that you take an image and divide it with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines…..

Using the rule of thirds, you would want to put your subject  on one of these lines (Top, bottom, right or left) or your focal point one of the intersections.

Some might think that this is a little crazy….wouldn’t you want your subject in the center? In some cases you might, but in most cases you are going to want your focal point on one of these lines because it is more appealing to the eye.

In fact, check out photos from some of your favorite photographer, you will start to notice the rule of thirds being used over and over. 

Take a look at these examples below. The top pictures are not using the rule of thirds while the next one does.  Which do you find more appealing?

I took these pictures while my little one was playing..... While the ones with her in the direct center are not terrible, I just love the look of the pictures using the rule of third.

*Subject on right thirds, focal point on top right intersection.*

*Subject on right thirds, focal point on top right intersection.*

*Subject on left third, focal point close to top left intersection*

*Subject on left third, focal point close to top left intersection*

You know me and coffee! 

*object on right thirds* 

*object on right thirds* 

This is a lovely painting from the very talented Anna Anderson.

*object on bottom thirds* 

*object on bottom thirds* 

With landscape I strive to still go by the rule of thirds. (although, I don't use it all the time and that completely fine.....it's all in how the artist sees it).  If there is something in the scene that I want to focus on that how I shoot it.

*I wanted the sky to be the main focal point in this scene, so I showed more of the sky by putting the horizon on the lower third*

*I wanted the sky to be the main focal point in this scene, so I showed more of the sky by putting the horizon on the lower third*

*For this photo I wanted more of the sand and ocean to be the focal, so I put the horizon towards the upper thirds.*

*For this photo I wanted more of the sand and ocean to be the focal, so I put the horizon towards the upper thirds.*

Next time you are out taking picture try out the rule of thirds, it might surprise you how much it changes the look of your photography