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Are you wondering, what is the rule of thirds? The rule of thirds is perhaps the most well-known "rule" of photographic composition. Well, it's not a rule; it’s more of a standard guideline for photographers and a skill that, when mastered, can significantly improve your art.
The rule of thirds is a well-known compositional method that divides your frame into three equal parts, with two vertical lines and two horizontal lines intersecting at four points. It puts the subject in the left or right third of the image, leaving two-thirds open.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to mastering any skill. The rule of thirds is no different. Continuous practice will help build muscle memory, and in no time, you will be able to visualize the lines in your head and take amazing photos.
If you are wondering what the rule of thirds can do for you, well, it is mainly about two things:
Rather than having the viewer focus on just one key element, they're taken for a visual journey through all aspects as they explore what you have composed.
The rule of thirds suggests placing the subject off-center. The human eye is drawn to points that are just beyond the picture's center. These points represent the intersections of the Rule of Thirds grid. Therefore, which intersecting points should you use? That will depend on what you are photographing.
For small objects, use an intersection on the grid. This will act as an excellent focal point for the observer. If the object is large or long, you should place it along one entire line.
There are about 1,906 portrait photographers in America, with 7% of them working in the real estate sector. You may also utilize a vertical format in real estate shoots if it helps to make the features of a home appear more appealing.
For the best results when taking portraits, we apply the rule of thirds.
When the subject faces a particular direction, we want to leave a space in the direction they are looking towards. For example, If you are taking a portrait and the subject is looking towards the right, place them along the grid line on the left, leaving a space on the right side.
If the subject is moving, leave a space in the direction they are moving in. This gives the subject a sense of direction and allows viewers to understand where they are headed.
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Photography For Real Estate shares in-depth information on portrait photography and landscape photography.
Street photography, more often than not, tends to be very chaotic. Using the rule of thirds helps create a sense of order and balance in your street art.
Want to learn more about street photography?
When reframing or cropping photos, the rule of thirds can also apply. If your editing software comes with the rule of thirds feature, turn this on and, using the grid lines, adjust the horizontal and vertical skew of your image so that the lines align with the grid.
Before taking any photo, ask yourself these two questions:
You might be wondering if all photos must follow this format. The answer is no. Although the rule of thirds helps take great photos, it does not mean we can not break from this rule. We also have many more photographic composition tips at our disposal.
When symmetry is desired. - If your goal is to portray a dramatic, aggressive, or shouting image
When we want to fill the frame,- Some images like buildings look better upfront; thus, if you want to fill the entire frame with the image, you can forgo the rule of thirds.
Here are some alternatives to the rule of thirds:
Break from this norm and try using your corners more actively. Art is all about experimentation anyway. Who knows, you might love it.
The primary reason for observing the rule of thirds is to discourage centralization or dividing photos in half. Such photos may seem boring to a viewer.
When taking a photo, imagine lines with points of intersection. Position the subject so that the points of intersection fall on the areas you want viewers to focus on. Practice the skill enough to master it.
The subject in the foreground is stronger than the one in the background, although the rule of thirds can emphasize or reduce their strengths. The bottom right point is the strongest when dealing with multiple subjects, and the upper left is the weakest.
The rule of thirds is a clear and simple guideline for compositional balance. It's important to know how to apply the rule and when it should be applied to produce an aesthetically pleasing result.