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The Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is the most fundamental of all the composition rules. It is based in science and is the first step to understanding good composition. Of course, all rules can be broken but you must learn and use them before you can successfully break them!

The rule is a guideline based on the “Golden ratio” which appears all over the place in nature. The ration is 1:1.3. This means that, aesthetically, images┬ádivided into thirds visually are more dynamic and pleasing than images divided into halves. So, you should position key elements of your image along lines 1/3 of the way from the edge of the frame, rather than in the centre.

Here is a simple example!

Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds

You can see how the frame has been divided into 9 equal sections. Visually strong elements, like the horizon and the tree have been placed along the dividing lines. This is a successful rule of thirds composition. Try it out!!