The rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb in visual arts such as painting, photography and design.
The rule states that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines
Important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections
In other words: Before you take a picture, imagine your picture area divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically. The intersections of these imaginary lines (the pink circles) suggest four options for placing the centre of interest (or power point) for good composition. The option you select depends upon the subject and how you would like that subject to be presented.
The upper-right position has been picked for this subject so that we could see the full shadow and most of the tracks that lead to the seagull
You should always consider the path of moving subjects and, generally, leave space in front of them into which they can move.
Not good composition - the model is almost out of the picture!
Here the jogger is framed better – with plenty of room to run into!
You can also apply the rule of thirds guidelines to the placement of the horizon in photos. Here the centre position of the boat and horizon results in a static feeling
Or maybe this?
Are you looking from the right angle? The photo on the right is so much better from just moving and changing the angle!
OVER TO YOU…
Try yourself to take shots using the rule of thirds.
Where do you place your power points ?
Where do you place the horizon, object or a person’s eyes?
Remember the Rule of Thirds is technically not a rule ! Experiment – see what works!