Composing Better Photos - Rule of Thirds
I thought it was about time, that I shared the next part in my 'styling better photos' series. So, today I am going to be talking about the 'rule of thirds'. I'm pretty certain that a lot of you will have already heard of this when it comes to composing photos. But I think it is still worth talking about, as it is such an important component when it comes to styling photos. There are two parts to the rule of thirds, so it makes sense, to break it down into two individual guides, the next part will follow another day. Right, let's get on with it! The rule of thirds, is exactly as it sounds, it is about dividing your photo into thirds. Imagine a grid on your camera screen, like the one shown below (I'm not sure about other phones, but you can actually get a grid on an iPhone, under Settings, Camera & Photos, which may help to begin with).
The idea is, you place the focal point of your image approximately on an imaginary line, either a third or two-thirds of the way across the screen, rather than slap bang in the middle! For some reason, no-one seems to know why, it makes the photo more pleasing to the eye.
Here you can see what I mean, in this image, the focal point (flowers) are centred:
But in this one, they are two-thirds of the way across the screen (you read a photo left to right the same as words):
The next image shows a grouping of flowers, and although they are a group, it still counts as one focal point, firstly centred:
And now, the group is two-thirds of the way across the screen:
In this photo, although there are three items, the flowers in the vase are the focal point, here they are centred:
And one-third of the way across the screen:
Now two-thirds of the way across the screen:
Obviously, the same applies for flat-lays, firstly, focal point centred:
Focal point two-thirds of the way across the screen:
A more styled shot, once again the flower is the focal point. Centred in this photo:
Two-thirds of the way across in this one:
Alternatively, you can place the focal point, either a third, or two-thirds of the way up the screen. In these photos, the flower heads are the focal point, firstly, across the middle of the screen (I couldn't resist leaving the snail in shot):
And a third of the way up the screen:
Now in landscape, flower heads half way up the screen:
Finally, a third of the way up the screen:
The rule of thirds, doesn't just apply to styled photos, it can be used for photographing people, buildings, scenery, anything you like.
What do you think? Do you prefer the photos that are using the rule of thirds or those that are centred? Try having a play with your own photos and see how they look when you move the focal point. As always, remember that this is just a guide, and rules can be broken. In fact, don't tell anyone, but I break this one pretty regularly myself!
Have a great weekend.