What is now known as the rule of thirds comes, most people say, from art historical traditions where mathematical calculations were used in order to make a painting more attractive to the viewer. The Golden Mean, or Golden Ratio as its sometimes called comes from studying object in nature and how big certain portions are in relation to others
Like all rules of production, this one can broken, but we need to master it first and then we can change it
It can be used to divide the image via its horizontal lines, and, or, its vertical lines.
There are some studies which claim the eyes naturally rest on the intersection points, this again takes us back to the golden ration in nature where one part of an object is perfectly in proportion to another part!Because its a technique, which has been used in some form for a long time the audience has come to expect it. We have grown up looking at photos, painting and shots in films that use this technique, so when we use it as media producers, we give our audience what they want.
Composition and the rule of thirds
Composition and the Rule of
Unit 18 – Producing Print Based
• To understand what the ‘rule of
thirds’ is, why it is used in a wide
variety of print media and to put it
into practice ourselves...
Rule of Thirds History
• In photography and film
making the Rule of Thirds
is used to make the overall
composition more pleasing
to the eye
• The idea comes from a
history of painting
• Sometimes linked to
What is it?
• Frame is divided into three horizontal and
• Image is placed at intersections
Why use it?
• Conventional –
used repeatedly so that the audience come to
• Creates a ‘natural’ sense of balance in a shot
• You work as photo editor for a
Digital SLR Photography magazine.
Some images have been submitted
of a high quality but your boss thinks
they need to be reframed before
Use your knowledge of composition
and Rule of Thirds to make the
images more attractive
In turns, come up to the images and
crop them by drawing on the rule
of thirds grid
• Scenario: You work for a local newspaper and
they have asked you to shoot some portraits
of typical students for their latest edition.
You must plan the shoot using basic
• Think about the Rule of Thirds, where would
you place your subject within the frame?
• Using the theme you started with last week,
try to get at least two well composed images,
utilising The Rule of Thirds and what we know
about Line, Texture and Pattern
• Be back with at least 20 mins spare to upload
onto your memory card
• Divide frame into three
horizontal & vertical lines –
place subject at intersection
• Rule of Thirds helps us to
compose a shot that the
audience recognises and
• Can be used in a variety of