Chapter 3. The Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds

By the time you finish reading this book, I hope that you will be sick of hearing about the Rule of Thirds; I also hope that it will be engrained as a way to start framing each and every shot you take. I am not saying that it is the only way to compose a photo or even the best way in every situation, but it is a great way to start looking at your compositions. One factor that works against this technique is that camera manufacturers put most of the focus points in their cameras in the middle of the frame. This tends to make people place their main subject directly in the middle of the frame. I hope that this chapter will make you look at the scenes in front of you in a new, controlled, and off-centered way.

The Rule of Thirds

Giant pandas make great photo subjects with their unique coloring and docile behavior. When photographing this panda, I made sure that the eye of the panda was on one of the intersecting points that make up the Rule of Thirds. As a bonus, the bamboo that the panda is eating creates a leading line into the image. Taken at ISO 500, f/2.8, and 1/250 second.

What It Is

The Rule of Thirds is a method of dividing the scene into thirds with imaginary horizontal and vertical lines. Then you place one of the four spots where the lines intersect over the main subject ...

Get Composition Digital Field Guide now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.