How to use The Rule of Thirds to take Better Pictures?

rule of thirds
When you look at your clicks, does it happen that you feel that there is something missing in your photos that comes in the way of making your photos as good as photos taken by other photographers? Do you ever feel that photographs taken by other photographers, for some weird reason turn out to be more appealing than yours? If the answer is Yes, don't worry and sit tight as in our today's article we shall be discussing one the most basic techniques of photography; an art which can not only just be learnt but also be perfected with practice and experimentation. This technique is so easy to understand and implement that you will be amazed to see how quickly you will grasp the idea and you will be astounded by the results it will produce for you in improving your photography. The name of this technique is THE RULE OF THIRDS.


Image composers all around the world take guidance from the rule of thirds for appealingly beautiful and amazing photographs. It's a general rule of thumb that is applied to all photographs, painting and designs. So it's not something that is just used by photographers but painters and art designers also apply this rule to achieve their perfect photo. The rule states that to achieve attention catching and aesthetically correct photographs, one should first divide the image frame (as you see in the viewfinder) with two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines and then reside the main subject of the photo on either of the four intersection points of the intersecting lines.

These points of intersection of the two horizontal and two vertical, equally spaced lines are termed as Power Points. The general idea behind the rule is that by placing the major object of the photo on either of these power points, you bring more energy to the photographs by drawing more attention towards the main subject of the photo. It not only creates additional energy in the photograph but also increases the focus and interest in the picture.


Are you still confused about how you can determine the power points in your photo frame? Let's discuss them in detail. First of alI , imagine yourself looking through the viewfinder of the camera and while you are looking through the viewfinder of your camera, imagine two vertical lines being present at equal distance from each other on the vertical plane. These vertical lines will divide the frame into three equal portions. After that, imagine two horizontal lines being present at equal distance from each other on the horizontal plane. After the placement of the horizontal lines and the vertical lines, the image frame will now be divided into nice equal portions. Now these four lines will intersect each other at four points which will be called Power Points.


One of the most fundamental mistakes that the new photographers make is that they place their main object right in the middle of the image frame with all the lesser important and background stuff on the corners of the frame. Now what that does is that it takes the core attention of the viewer from the main subject of the picture to the lesser important surroundings and because of these reasons the image becomes less energetic and dull. It becomes less appealing and fails to attract attention of the viewer. As a result, nothing stands out as the leader of the image and everything remains ordinary. The main subject fails to connect to the viewer on a level that says Leave everything and watch me as I am the most important thing in this frame. And it is because of this reason that the whole image remains average looking.


The rule of thirds is built on the theory that naturally it is the location of the power points where the eyes of the viewer are drawn to and hence whatever is placed at those intersection points gets the most attention by the viewer. Now if you place the most important subject of the image on these intersection lines, the viewer will naturally be drawn to this main subject. As a result, the subject will succeed to become the most eye-catching part of the image. According to eye scanning theory 41% of the eye scanning is at the top left power point, 25% of the eye scanning is at the lower left power point , 20% of the eye scanning comes at the top right power point and lastly 14% of the eye scanning is at the lower right power point of the image. We can achieve the most appeal in our images if be place our main subject on any of the four power points.

Wasn't that easy? So get up guys and try out this very simple yet extremely effective technique for some amazingly captured photographs. I am sure, you all will be amazed by the improvement it will bring to your photography.

Written by: Rajesh Bihani, New Delhi, India

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice