When it comes to taking great photographs one of the key things all good photographers know is the meaning of the rule of thirds.
Photography Composition Rule of Thirds
All great photographers know when it comes to taking pictures, regardless of the type of camera, Point and Shoot, Digital SLR you need to understand some core principles that make the difference between a good shot and a great shot. This concept is where the rule of thirds comes in.
Typically you can take a camera, point it at your subject, focus them in the centre and click, you just created a new portrait shot. You upload it to your computer or printer and print yourself a copy, looks good. But where not here to create good, you’ve come here to learn how to create great photo shots. So let us begin by explaining what the rule of thirds is. What we are talking about is a simple equally spaced grid of two horizontal and vertical lines. Check out the Diagram below:
You can now see from the Diagram each of the horizontal and vertical lines has intersection spots that I have added a box showing the location of the focal points. Any one of these four squares is now considered a focal point of where you can line up your subject.
When you set up to take a picture, some cameras may have a built-in function allowing you to have this grid on screen through your viewfinder when focusing. Most cameras would at least show a rectangular box where you would pick one of the corners as the focal point. If not, you will just need to rely on your imaginary grid interpretation that is what all the pros do.
So from the diagram you will choose one of the four intersecting squares on the grid. This square will now represent your focal point as a reference. The reason I say reference is you do not need the square in the exact spot of your focal point. For instance, when you shot a portrait of your subject you would use one of their eyes as your focal point of reference. You would line your grid square on their eye for the sharpest focus, to take your shot. The thing is, you do not need to be directly over the eye to focus your picture, in the neighbourhood works just fine. To show you what I mean, take a look at the photo below with my two models.
For this particular shot, you can see the top left square is slightly up and over to the right of our forward model Liz. The picture shows that the square is not directly over Liz’s right eye. Instead, we are what I like to call in the neighbourhood. Leonardo is in the background happily modeling as an extra to display the depth of field effect in this case.
You can see from the pose of each model the options as a photographer how you could take the photograph. For example:
- By shifting the camera slightly, the bottom square right eye of forward model Liz, top right square left eye of back model Leonardo both subjects could be in total focus.
- Same shot but focusing on either Liz or Leonardo
The actual picture taken of Liz has her face framed by the upper Square at the top of her head with the lower focal point square on the bottom of her head. These two focal point squares are then also focused on the rule of thirds from left to right on Liz’s whole face.
So there you have it Photography Composition Rule of Thirds featuring supermodels Liz and Leonardo in another great portrait photo shoot.
Do you need to apply the rule of thirds for all your photographs, of course not but that’s another lesson for another day, or you can just simply go here and learn whatever you want from all the video tutorials.
go to post “Picture Composition Examples.”
” Hi once again, I’m Travis Smithers author of Say It With Photographs where you will find tutorials on photography, editing software, cameras and accessories. The use of post production equipment and their operation to the creation of fantastic gifts for you, friends and family, enjoy. Comments and questions always welcomed here!”