When taking pictures, you might want to think about composing your photo in thirds. What?
According to the Digital Photography School, the rule of thirds “is a compositional guideline that breaks an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so you have nine pieces and four gridlines. According to the rule, by positioning key elements along the gridlines, you’ll end up with better compositions.”
While browsing my photos, I realized horizontal layers are more important to me in composition. Do my pictures always follow the rule of thirds guidelines? No, it’s okay to bend the rules.
SLR Lounge notes, “Of all the “rules” in photography, the rule of thirds is one of the easiest to successfully break.”
My photo in thirds examples (with layers)
This sandhill crane is in the upper third corner, but the differing textures and colors of the plants catch your attention. This photo has four layers.
This pronghorn is near the lower third of the picture. I could have cropped it more, but I didn’t want to cut out the misty mountains in the background. This photo has five layers.
Mount Bachelor, in the upper third of the photo, blends into a flat overcast sky. The foggy forest and flat lake are also muted in color. The “stars” of the picture are the multi-colored rushes and sedges in the foreground. This photo has five layers.
The swans in this Summer Lake scene are near the center line. The dust storm is in the upper third. Both elements are interesting. This photo has a lot of layers – sky, mountains, dust storm, rushes, water, shoreline (with white alkaline deposits), and greasewood shrubs.
The last picture shows a fallen juniper tree in the foreground and the La Sal Mountains in the background. The twisting branches of the juniper are in the bottom third. This photo has four layers.
I don’t always pause to compose a photo in thirds, but I think the last photo comes closest to meeting the rule’s guidelines.
Remember, it’s okay to break the rules! Be spontaneous when taking photos and edit later.
19 thoughts on “Photo in thirds? Bending the rules: LAPC”
Lovely, bucolic images Siobhan. You are surrounded by so many beautiful, wide open spaces!
Thanks, Tina! Some here, some in Wyoming & Utah. The Wild West. 🙂
WOW. Yes, great layered/thirds examples. Excellent.
Thanks so much, John!
Beautiful photos! I love layers in a scene! 😊
Thanks, Dawn! I love layers too.
These are all lovely, Siobhan. You can certainly call yourself an artist!
Thanks, Marilize! I tried to think of each photo as a work of art.
I see what you mean about layers in your photographs and I think they work really well for landscapes such as yours. You’re right that the last photo fits the rule of thirds most closely and interestingly it’s the one that appeals most to me – whether that’s a coincidence, whether it ‘proves’ the rule of thirds works, or whether as a photographer I’ve trained my eye to look for such compositions where others wouldn’t notice them, I have no idea!
Thanks, Sarah! Yes, I like that one as well. I try to compose when I’m taking pictures, but a lot of times the unplanned ones turn out well. 🙂
I think i am shooting in thirds because i am a third as good as most of you other photographers. 😉
Ha ha! I hope at least one of the thirds will be acceptable in mine.
Great selection, Siobhan 👏 Really taught me about different layers in a shot, something I’ve never thought about before 😎
Always love permission to break the rules. Well done!
Thanks, Bonnie! Yes, sometimes it’s okay to break rules. 🙂
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Thanks for showing us the beauty of nature textures!
Thanks, Amy! 😁