Art & Photography13th October 2013

Photography The Rule of Thirds

A regular feature from Deaf photographers giving hints and tips to improve your pictures

by Dafydd Eveleigh

The Rule of Thirds - The most important part of the camera is the person using it. It doesn't matter if the camera is a smart phone, a disposable type or a top of the range professional camera costing £1000s, the person using the camera is most important. That means you do not need to have a top of the range camera to take good photos.

There are many tips for improving your photographs, but my favourite is called the "rule of thirds". This rule can be used with any camera to improve the composition (the look) of the photo.

It is common when taking photos to position the subject in the middle of the photo. While this can produce nice photos you can add an extra interest by using the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds requires the photographer to view the scene as if it was divided up into 9 equal squares arranged in a grid – 3 across the top, 3 across the middle and 3 across the bottom like the picture below. With some digital cameras, there is an option to have the grid on screen to help you compose the photo.

The way to use the grid is to place the main subject where the lines intersect or cross. For example, see the series of pictures below:

Here is an image with the focus in the middle.

Here is the same image but the images follow the rule of thirds.

Grid rule of thirds



Here is the same image so you can see how it aligns with the grid.

The best thing, is to try it for yourself. With smart phones you can change the focus point by tapping on the screen – see illustration below.

With most cameras, if you press the shutter button half way, it will automatically focus on the centre of the frame and hold the focus there until you press the button all the way or release the button. This will allow you to apply the rule of thirds. Centre the object you want to focus on, press the shutter halfway, move the camera so the object matches the rule, then press the button all the way.

If your camera or smart phone doesn’t allow you to display the rule of thirds grid, the final option is to use image editing software on your computer or smart phone and crop the picture until it matches the rule.

More pictures showing how to use the rule of thirds can be found here. {add shorter link here}

Article by Dafydd Eveleigh

posted in Entertainment / Art & Photography

13th October 2013