Basic Tips – The Rule Of Thirds

Good Morning ! 🙂

I finally start writing my section called “Basic Tips” ! In this section I’ll post about some suggestions to improve our skills, compositions, etc.., in digital photography. I’ve already talked about this idea in About.

You can easily reach all these types of post by clicking on the box ” Basic Tips” in the menu situated in the upper part of my home page.

So! In this first post, I would like to talk you about the famous and known-by-all “Rule Of Thirds”. 

Premise: I don’t like rules.. I reckon photography is art and everyone can play with light, compositions, exposure of all kind. Therefore, I reckon one should not follow the rules strictly ! As the name say, these are tips.. 😉

What is the rule of thirds?? 

It is a rule many photographer use to make dynamic compositions. For example, look at this picture:

Bruges, different view of Belfort. Belgium

Bruges, different view of Belfort. Belgium

The tower is perfectly at the centre of the image. A bit static, isn’t it?

The rule of thirds consists in dividing the image in nine boxes: let’s draw two vertical lines and two horizontal lines evenly spaced . The thing to do is, then, placing our points of interest on the intersection of lines. When we look at our viewfinder to shoot the pictures we can imagine these lines. In some cameras, we have the opportunity to set the lines in the viewfinder or in the LCD screen. I don’t have this opportunity 😛 so, the most of the time, I  can’t apply the rule of  thirds, but it’s not a necessary thing. As I said first, I reckon that if I apply this rule always, pictures will always be the same.

But let’s see some examples and how the rule of thirds can be used.

Picture 1:

Windmills at Kinderdjik, Holland.

Windmills at Kinderdjik, Holland.

Here, I split my picture only in three, cause I used the rule of thirds only partially. I’ve placed the windmill (my only point of interest here) on the first third to the left. This was a very simple case ! I decided to put the horizon level in the low part of the picture because I wanted to emphasize the cloudy sky.

Picture 2:

View of Siena, Italy.

View of Siena, Italy.

In this case, the sky was a little insignificant, so I decided to put the horizon level on (near , actually) the first third from above.

Picture 3:

Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California.

Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California.

This case is more complicated, because I have drawn all the four lines to create nine boxes. In these case I focused on the signboard, trying to place it in the intersection of lines.  I hope you like this picture cause I am pretty satisfied of the result. (Half Dome is awesome :O)

Picture 4: (last one)

Porthmeor Beach at Sunset. St. Ives, Cornwall, England.

Porthmeor Beach at Sunset. St. Ives, Cornwall, England.

I like this picture , too! The sky was amazing, so I tried to place the horizon level in the low part of the composition. Then, I focused on the Sun (I think I have, at least, 6 or 7 pictures of this sunset 😛 ). I placed the Sun in the intersection of lines, I think it was important to emphasize the Sun, cause the image is a bit dark.

I hope you managed to understand the rule of thirds with this post (it’s really easy!) and ,as you see, you can play with thirds to emphasize different parts of your composition 🙂

Thank you very much!!! You can find the picture without grids in the gallery , situated at the bottom of my Home Page. Bye 🙂


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