Positioning subjects along these guidelines and intersections enables the viewers eye to explore the image with ease and creates a greater sense of balance within the piece. The red circles on the diagram indicate points of an image, where a photographer would try to get the main focus of their image.

MOC Zuckerman on Composition Rule of Thirds 1-1.jpg


Line – Focusing on line within your photograph can help imply movement and 3 dimensional shape.
Curved – Curved lines allows your eye to follow through the image, creating a sense of mystery of what is absent
Aerial/atmospheric perspective – helps to show distant images and often creates abstraction
Overlapping – overlapping tends to make an image more 3 dimensional
Symmetrical –  often creating a sense of balance – making it feel more ‘clean’
Asymmetrical – adds a ‘weight’ to one side of the image, which draws you into the intended subject matter
Filling the frame – used for portraiture, with a shallow depth of field, often intend to emphasise something specific about the subject matter

“The rule of thirds is applied by aligning a subject with the guidelines and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section.”




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