Title photograph How To compose in thirds

How To

How To: Compose in Thirds

19 Apr , 2017  

Before you press the shutter, you need to compose the image, sounds easy. Just make sure the subject is in the frame and you haven’t cut Aunties head off. And to be fair, it is just that easy But if you want to take your images to the next level, you need to think about your composition.

Once you know a few of the tricks of the trade you can be like a great painter. After all they have been using them for hundreds of years.

Welcome to our “How To” blogs. In this series of short articles, we’re covering all aspects of photography. Whether you want to take better pictures using your smart phone, or digital camera or maybe you need to commission images, we will have something for you. Grab your camera and learn how to improve your image with pictures.

Reed bunting

Original picture of Reed bunting


We need to clear up one thing straight away. You will hear people talk about the ‘Rule of Thirds’ Don’t believe them. There are no rules of composition they are more like ‘guidelines’. You can choose to follow or break them, trust me nothing bad is going to happen. But, if you know about them you can use them to your benefit.

Take for instance the ‘Rule of Thirds’. Look at a image and draw imaginary lines to divide it into nine equal parts using two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. Place your important elements were the lines intersect or along the lines.

Thirds guidelines

Rule of Thirds

Why we find images composed in thirds more pleasing is still a bit of a mystery. But we do so take advantage of it in your images. Oh and if you think it only works with thirds, think again. There is another composition trick called the golden ratio. Using that formula you get lines that are slightly different from the thirds lines. However our brains still find compositions using this system pleasing.


Golden ratio guide lines

Golden Ratio

When you are about to take your next image, think about where that important element is and try and move it to one of the thirds. Then just before you press the shutter, make sure you haven’t cut the top of Aunties head off.

That’s it for this one. Short on time but want Maximum impact on social media – look out for our next blog in our “How To” series. Can’t wait that long? Our personal training covers all aspects of photography helping you make a good first impression and click here stand out from the crowd.

If you have any comment or suggestions about this or other posts in the How To series we would love to hear from you.


Previous posts in How To: series

How To: Avoid Camera Shake

How To: Be Different

How To: Take better landscapes

How To: Not Lose Your Subject

How To: Declutter you images

How To: Take Pictures Inside


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