Rule of Thirds: Take Amazing Pictures With Any Camera

Take Amazing Pictures With Any Camera

Yes! Even your disposable point and shoot!  One of the fastest ways to improve all of your pictures right now is by understanding this amazingly simple compositional technique.  This “Rule” is one of the first things that photographers learn about in classes on photography.  It is the basis for well balanced and interesting shots.  To use this rule effectively you don’t even have to know anything else about how photography or cameras work.  It’s that easy!

Composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a photograph.  That just means it’s where you point the camera and what is seen by the camera on your LCD screen or through the viewfinder.  The subject is the main thing you want to photograph and objects are the other things in the photo.  The rule of thirds is a simple guide for how to place the subject in your frame with consideration for the other objects in the frame  for maximum effect.  lets face it, always putting your subject in the middle of your picture is boring!

The Rule of Thirds states that photo should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. Aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would.

lets see what that looks like in a landscape photo:

In this picture the tree is our subject and the water, sky and clouds are other objects in the frame.  Our subject is aligned with one of the two lines running top to bottom and our horizon is aligned with one of the two lines running left to right.  the left to right lines are, in fact, called the horizon lines and it is a standard practice to align the horizon on either one of these imaginary lines for a more interesting composition.
let’s look at a few more examples….
There you go, it’s that simple.  And if all that vertical/horizontal third math stuff seems too complex  just think of it this way:  Don’t put your subject in the middle and don’t put your subject on the edge and your probably following the rule of thirds!

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