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.