COMPOSITION AND THE RULE OF THIRDS (MORE DETAIL)

So, onto our subject of the week.  And the reason for this, is to help you appreciate your own photos even more.  That is the rule of thirds:

You can use the rule of thirds as a guide in the off-center placement of your subjects. Here’s how it works.
Grid
Before you snap the picture, imagine your picture area divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically. The intersections of these imaginary lines suggest four options for placing the center of interest for good composition. The option you select depends upon the subject and how you would like that subject to be presented.
Grid superimposed over gull
We picked the upper-right position for this subject so that we could see the full shadow and most of the tracks that lead to the seagull.
Lighthouse
The lighthouse seems well placed in the upper right just because the rest of the scene fits nicely into the format.
Figure on icy pier
Here’s a case where you have excellent subject control. You can have the model pose anywhere along the walkway. The rule of thirds indicates this placement which also gives the model a definite path to follow within the picture area.
Figure in tunnel
You should always consider the path of moving subjects and, generally, leave space in front of them into which they can move.
Figure running on beach
If you don’t, here’s what can happen! This jogger looks like she’s going to run right out of the picture.
2nd view of figure running on beach
By placing the subject in the lower-left position, we’ve used the rule of thirds and given the jogger plenty of room to run within the picture.
X-country skiers
Here’s another action shot where it’s important to leave more space in front of a moving subject than behind it.
Sailboat on water-horizon middle
You can also apply the rule of thirds guidelines to the placement of the horizon in your photos. Here the center position of the boat and horizon results in a static feeling.
Sailboat on water-horizon upper 3rd
Let’s move the horizon to the upper third and the sailboat to the left. Remember, these are the only guidelines. So if you don’t like this subject placement, try another.
Sailboat on water-horizon lower 3rd
Like this. We’ve moved the horizon line to the lower third. In general, place the horizon high or low in your scenics, but rarely in the middle.
2 views of ski lift
Just as it’s usually best to place horizons off center, it’s also best to place verticals off center. For instance, in the picture on the left, the subject is centered, but on the right, the photographer got a more effective photograph by simply changing the viewpoint.

So, I hope that helps in understanding how to use the Rule of thirds.  Thanks to Kodak for the best explanation and pictures to show how this really works. 

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Published by 123photogo

I have been a photographer for many years. Worked in retail selling cameras and accessories for over 20 years. Taught many photo classes, and have even been a judge in several county fairs. Now, I want to share photo instructions and entertainment with all other photographers around the world.

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