• Saturday , 18 November 2017

What Is the Rule of Thirds? | Photography Tutorial

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Hi. Today we’re talking about the rule of thirds, when to follow it, and how to break it. As you can see here on the monitor we have got a grid that you’ve probably seen before if you’re playing with your point-and-click or you’re playing with the display settings on your camera. You are able to turn the grid on in your LCD monitor. I’d rather people not get in the habit of using their LCD monitor but start imagining that grid every time their taking a photo. As you can see we’ve divided our frame into nine equal boxes with two vertical lines and two horizontal lines.

That’s leaving us with these four intersecting points along the frame. When we’re photographing we want to put our focal point in one of these four intersecting points. It is important that we do work left to right and top to bottom. So one, two, three, four. By prioritizing our focal point in these areas our image is going to make a little bit more sense. The way I like to describe the rule of thirds is writing on a notepad and using the lines. You don’t write over the lines you write on top of the lines. Where you place the words on the notepad is going to make a lot more sense and it’s the same with, say, letters forming a word, words forming a sentence, and the sentence making sense. For example, if you were reading The Cat in the Hat; “The cat in the hat makes sense,” reading it backwards, “hat the in cat the,” not so much.

If we place our focal point or we don’t use the rule of thirds effectively it’s like mixing those words around or, even worse, reading it completely backwards which would be, “tah eht ni tac eht.” What I like to do is put my horizon on one of the horizontal thirds. So many people I see or so many photographs I see are putting their horizon halfway through their frame. By using the horizontal lines a little bit more effectively we’re nicely spacing out that image. By placing our focal point on one of these intersecting points we’re giving the focal point a little bit more prominence. We’re giving a bit more depth. We’re giving it a bit more relationship with the image. And using the lines, everything else in my image I like to try and have running along the lines wherever possible. I also like to divide my image into two-thirds/one-third, that’s two-thirds of information and one-third of negative space or just a little bit of clarity. And of course, foreground, mid-ground, and background, but that’s a bit more for landscapes. It’s not important to use absolutely every single point in the rule of thirds, however the more you use, generally the more effective your photograph. Let’s have a look at an example. So here’s a photograph I took in Machu Picchu in Peru and, as you can see, I’ve pretty much used as many of those points as possible. We have the llamas in the foreground, we have the ruin in the mid-ground, and we have the mountain and the sky in the background. I’ve got two-thirds of positive space with everything going on and one-third of negative space with the sky. You’ll notice that my two-third line, my top horizontal line is also cutting off accordingly with the mountain coming down one vertical third and the ruin coming down another vertical third. The ruin was my focal point so I used the second of the one, two, three, four focal points, or those intersections, to take this photograph. So that’s how I effectively use the rule of thirds to take a photograph, and let’s just talk a bit about breaking them.

This is a very controversial point with a lot of photographers. Many photographers can’t stand the idea of the rule of thirds being broken. However, like most rules, it’s made to be broken some of the time, but understand why you’re breaking it. If you decide, “oh, I just want to put something in the center or I just want to move a little bit,” it’s going to look sloppy, it’s going to look like a bad photograph. It’s not going to mak

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14 Comments

  1. Rishita Jain
    August 26, 2017 at 18:33

    how do you know what is negative and positive space of an image

  2. akmal hakim
    August 26, 2017 at 18:33

    just get straight to the point

  3. P Riza
    August 26, 2017 at 18:33

    Thank you for this useful video … ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  4. Julie Newman
    August 26, 2017 at 18:33

    just get to the point on how to use it.

  5. The AKK Family
    August 26, 2017 at 18:33

    Ian Beale?

  6. B Sridhar
    August 26, 2017 at 18:33

    Very well presented. Thank you.

  7. Nathan Drummond
    August 26, 2017 at 18:33

    One of the better videos out there. Thanks.

  8. jeferd kyle Condino
    August 26, 2017 at 18:33

    thank you so much!

  9. Kobi Ballard
    August 26, 2017 at 18:33

    My last names ballard

  10. Brandon Derix
    August 26, 2017 at 18:33

    He should teach a lesson on metaphors and focal points lol..
    Howcast get yo shit together!

  11. len tumaneng
    August 26, 2017 at 18:33

    Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. kevin slater
    August 26, 2017 at 18:33

    5 comment wow sarcasm

  13. ITZ Ben
    August 26, 2017 at 18:33

    4th

  14. Xeryun
    August 26, 2017 at 18:33

    Yay! Thanks! I can finally use Thirds!

    (Oh, and 2nd comment)

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