Before I get started with this post, I want to say that I never, in a million years, thought I would be writing about photography. It has been such a struggle for me and I still consider myself a beginner. I have, however, figured a few things out and learned a few lessons. I have taken classes at the Photography School of Hard Knocks and actually done quite well. (Don’t laugh.)
One of the reasons I started this blog in the first place was to connect with people like me. People who love DIY, their homes and a good challenge. I have met so many of you who have shared your frustration with the process of becoming a photographer. With that in mind, I want to share my simplified understanding of The Rule of Thirds.
I am a believer in the online photography classes available at Shoot Fly Shoot. (affiliate link) The Photography 101 class really changed everything for me. SFS also has a blog where Kevin Palmer shares his knowledge and experience. I found his definition of the Rule of Thirds and here it is:
“If an image is divided into nine equal parts, the compositional elements that run along the lines or at the intersections are more pleasing to the eye.”
Honestly, I really didn’t get it. I made it so much more complicated than it actually was. When I saw a photo divided into those nine sections, my eyes would glaze over. Until, that is, I saw this image by Jim Zuckerman.
I’ve talked before about my photography light bulb moments. This was another one. To me, the composition of this image is OFF CENTER. In other words, the cheetah is not in the middle. As you can see, the lines run directly along the cheetah as do the intersection points. I know I have sort of a thick head, but it wasn’t until I saw this picture that I really got it.
I looked back through some of my own pictures and found a few that follow the Rule of Thirds…and I shot these without even knowing what I was doing.
I do love these three photos and it’s probably because of the interesting composition. So…don’t worry about big words like intersections and compositional elements. Here are a few words that to me, totally explain the Rule of Thirds. Your main focus of the image should be:
Left of Center
Right of Center
I hope this has helped at least of few of you. Try this out and don’t worry about those pesky 9 squares…but if you think they might help, you can add them to your camera monitor. My friend Dawn, from Creative Cain Cabin, showed me how to do it. It’s in your camera menu and it’s called Grid Display. Who knew? Thanks for stopping by…I’ll see you in a day or so!
Visit my FAQs & Sources page to see what camera equipment I use.