Improve Your Photos – Rule of Thirds

One misconception about photography is that a more expensive, higher resolution camera will take a better photograph than an older, lower resolution (or even film) camera.

But the camera is only a tool. It is the photographer that takes the photo.

Photography is an art. As artists, photographers must compose their photos to make them visually pleasing.

One simple means by which you as the photographer can improve your photos is to follow the rule of thirds.

Our natural tendency is to place the subject of a photograph in the very center of the image. There are times when this is necessary, but most of the time such a photo winds up being uninteresting.

In the rule of thirds we imagine that the final image can be divided into thirds both horizonally and vertically.

The rule of thirds – a grid that you imagine over your final photo.

Rather than placing the subject in the center of the final image, the photographer tries to put it on either one of the lines dividing the image into thirds, or on the points where vertical and horizontal divisions come together.

The rule of thirds in action. On the left, the main subject is centered. On the right, the spire in on the 1/3 vertical division from the left side and the horizon is on the 1/3 line horizontally from the bottom. Credit: Tadrart01.JPG: Pir6mon derivative work: Teeks99 CC By-SA 3.0

Now, go out and take some photos. Apply the rule of thirds. See how much better your photos become!

Author: Penny

Litterbox Engineer and Chief Cat Cuddler at Mew-Mew House (; CEO and Principal Scientist at EPOCH Isotopes ( Curator at PaleoPix ( Senior Photographer at Animal's Place Creative Studios (

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