Video:Photography Composition: Rule of Thirdswith Chris Davis
In photography, the Rule of Thirds will quickly improve your photos' compositions. Watch this About.com video to see how the rule of thirds is applied and why it works so well.See Transcript
Transcript:Photography Composition: Rule of Thirds
Hi I'm Chris Davis for About.com. When composing your pictures it’s important to understand some basic concepts. One of the first principles to incorporate into your photography is the Rule of Thirds.
Frame a Photo with the Rule of Thirds
This composition rule is quite simple. Looking through your viewfinder imagine dividing the image into three vertical and three horizontal portions. Essentially drawing a tic tac toe board across your picture. This grid is used to create interest and draw your viewers eye to certain parts of the picture. Using the rule of thirds you should position the most important elements of your image along these lines. Furthermore where the lines cross you should place key elements or points of interest. This will create a better composition to your overall picture.
Balance Space and the Photo's Subject
Most new photographers will center their subject by placing them right in the middle of your frame. In some cases this is fine, however, incorporating the rule of thirds forces you to position your subject to the left or right side of your image creating a unique balance and interest to your photo. As you compose your subject take into consideration the amount of space you are leaving to the left or right. You want to create lead space for your subject. For example in this photograph the subject is looking right. they have been placed on the left vertical line and the point of interest, their eyes, have been placed on the upper left intersection. This creates a pleasing photograph that not only incorporates the rule of thirds but provides space for the subject to look. Doing the opposite and framing the subject with no lead space feel awkward and uncomfortable. The same principle applies with inanimate subjects as well.
Use the rule of thirds for landscape photographs as well. Place the Horizon either on the upper or lower line. This will give a pleasing feel to your image as well as add some depth. Try to avoid splitting the photograph in half with the horizon running across the center.
Rule of Thirds Camera Setting
The rule of thirds will quickly become obvious for landscape photographs and wider shots, however, the principles apply to all photographs. Even in this extreme close up key elements of the photo have been placed on the intersecting lines drawing the viewers attention to them. At first it may be difficult to imagine the Rule of Thirds grid. Fortunately, some cameras have an option to superimpose the grid over the LCD screen. This will make trying the rule simple, as you photograph.
Don't forget that rules are meant to be broken. Your photography is unique to you. However, before you break the rule you need to understand it so you can ensure you are making the photo more effective.
Start experimenting with the rule of thirds and see how interesting your shots will become. To learn more check us out on the web at About.com. Thanks for watching.