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6862 MarcoCiavolino Week 06 2020 RuleOfThirds Post

Never Break the Rules

Thirds reqires a careful attention to portion remains.


The Rule of Thirds is probably one of the best known and most used photographic composition techniques (and in paintings!). This 'fame' is well-justified because the rule of thirds is extremely useful in composing beautiful photos. Basically, the rule states that your photo should be be divided into 9 squares of the same size with two horizontal lines intersecting two vertical lines. The main subject of your photo should then be placed on one of the intersection points where the lines meet. Apparently, the viewer's eye falls automatically to these intersection points, so it is a good idea to place the thing that they should notice at right at one of these sweet spots. It is as though our eyes expect the rule of thirds to be used. If not, the composition often seems unbalanced and less harmonious. Another way to use the rule of thirds is to place linear subjects, like the horizon or a tree, along one of the lines of your grid. If, for example, you are taking a photo of a sea view, place the horizon on the lower or upper horizontal line and not dead in the center. (An added bonus is that this will help to keep your horizons straight!) There is a tendency to take a rule of thirds photo with only one subject placed on one of the intersection points. There is nothing wrong with that and this will create a strong photo. But consider also using the rule of thirds in a photo with more than one subject (the main subject will then get one of the intersection points) or in a portrait. In a portrait try to place the eye line along the top third-line of the frame or one of the person’s eyes on one of the intersection points.


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*enktesis, LLC is a private consultancy, led by Marco Ciavolino, assisting clients in a range of web technology solutions, marketing communications, business development, and communications research efforts. He has been involved in the web space since 1995 and since that time has directly developed and collaborated on numerous web projects from small niche sites to large enterprise projects.  Want to know more? Contact me via email or phone  (marco@enktesis.com / 410-838-8264).   Full contact information at meetmarco.com

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