Photo Tip: Rule of Thirds

Do you want to improve your photography skills? I have been practicing the Rule of Thirds and it occurred to me that some crafters have never heard of the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds is a technique that proposes an image should be imagined as if it was divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines. Additionally, important compositional elements should be placed along these imaginary lines or the lines intersections.


Using the Rule of Thirds technique creates more energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject in the picture. Objects that are aligned along these points are more pleasing to the eye and create a more compelling photograph worthy of your scrapbooks, home decor, and other paper crafts. The photograph below is a fantastic example of the Rule of Thirds.


Notice where the subject, the woman, is placed in the photograph. The majority of her body is in the middle quadrants and the horizon line is also along the middle quadrants. The intersections are lit with red to further demonstrate their importance.


Here is another example of the same principle, only this time the subject, the boy, is nearly centered. What makes this photograph interesting is the horizon line placed in the middle quadrants, and the buckets placed along the intersections. However, the horizon, or the grass, kind of appears to divide the photo. Here is a different take using the same photograph.


Notice in this photo how the photographer has gotten closer to the subject and moved the boy the the left of the photograph. Upon closer inspection, I realize this photograph is the same photo as above, but cropped to change the composition. The advantage to cropping the original photo is the picture is less divided by the horizon line, because the subject has been made larger. This photo could further be improved by looking directly down at the subject to rid the picture of the dividing horizon line all together.

Here are a few more examples. I just love this family photo! See how the Rule of Thirds helps this photograph have fabulous depth and interest.


When thinking of the composition of your photos, it is fun to find natural and interesting backgrounds for your subjects. Even though the background of this photo is stunning, the subject, the girl, is front and center so you notice her first.


Even though the Rule of Thirds is wonderful to use in photography, this rule translates into scrapbooking and other art projects, such a water painting. So have fun applying this techniques to your photography, paper crafts, and art! Happy scrapping!

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