On Composition: Thirds

I hope y’all checked out the last post on composition! It was all about getting a feel for the concept and how it works in creating a good photograph. Now, I’d just like to explore a few classic compositional rules that you’ll want to keep in mind when snapping your shots.

Rule of Thirds


You probably already know this one, or at least you’ve seen the grid and aren’t quite sure what it means because how are you supposed to use it? Basically, the Rule of Thirds (which is really a technique and less of a rule) is that:

  • The most visually appealing place to position your subject is at the intersection of the gridlines, or along a third line.

This rule often works best when taking close-up shots of one subject, because it brings out both detail and intensity in an image.

On a complete side note: whenever I travel one of my absolute favorite things to do is look out for Love Locks – a padlock that a couple gets engraved with their names and leaves hanging somewhere special or famous. They toss the key into the river (that’s where I’ve seen the most locks) or hide it somewhere nearby, leaving their love bound forever.

I found this one at the top of a hill in Barcelona (in Park Güell), hanging quietly on the very edge of the iron railing that traces the edge of crumbling stone steps up to one of the most beautiful views of the city. Picture perfect.

Most mobile phone cameras will have an option to display the grid when taking photos — for iPhone, go to settings, scroll down to photos & camera, and select the Grid option.

And now, to practice!



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