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What is the 'Thirds' rule in photography? By Mark Blezard

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

How to compose a better picture.

The Thirds rule is a very simple trick of composition, useful if you are new to photography.

Whilst it does not have to apply, if you want to take a quick, stunning image, it is a great point to remember when you first pan a scene through the viewfinder.

When you first frame your picture, simply imagine four lines, two lying horizontally across the image and two vertical thus creating nine even squares. Again, this rule does not apply to every image you take but for most, keeping your focal point off-center at one of the intersecting points will usually make for a more pleasing composition.

Photography by Mark Blezard
In this example I wanted the tall building to be the final destination for the eye

The results of the Thirds rule is that the eye tends to journey towards your focal point rather than land directly on it. The more of a 'journey' you create, the more of a story your picture can hold. In the example below, the main focal point is just to the right of the intersections, just to show that this is not 'paint by numbers'. You must always compose your image how you want it.

Photography by Mark Blezard
For this image the main focal point is just to the right of the intersections

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