Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rule of Thirds

Whenever someone asks me for photography tips, I always share the same one -- the rule of thirds. It's probably the only photography rule that I follow during photo excursions. Shared by my college photography instructor, the rule of thirds relates to where your subject or focus of your photograph is positioned in your composition.

The rule states that an image theoretically should be divided into nine equal parts by two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. Then, the photographer would place the subject, focus or important elements along these imaginary lines or their intersection. Most people just center their subject in the image. However, like in today's photo of one of the Smithsonian Museum gardens, placing your focus along the rule of thirds' lines or intersections can create energy and action to tell your photo story. Often I take several photos of one subject, placing it on different lines or intersections, to discover the most interesting position and composition for the subject. The rule of thirds can also be applied to other arts, such as painting, film-making and design.

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