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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Better Photography Tip #1: The Rule of Thirds and a Sense of Place

Given that "rules" in photography, and art for that matter, are not hard and fast, I am willing to bet that there a are a few professional photographers out there that may not agree with the Rule of Thirds as a tip for better photography. However, I personally believe that in order to break the rules, and be effective with it, you have to know the rules first.

To use the Rule of Thirds, first imagine that your scene is divided equally into three sections, both horizontally and vertically, so that you have a 3x3 grid. (Some point and shoot cameras actually have a mode that allows you to see this grid on the the LCD screen when taking pictures.)

Next, put the subject of your photo on or near one of the points where the grid lines meet (or along one of the grid lines themselves) and snap the photo. This rule can also be applied when photographing landscapes. In that instance, the horizon is generally placed on or near one of the horizontal gridlines.

As a side note, an advantage to using the Rule of Thirds is that it better places your subject in a setting becase you can see more of the background, even if that is not the focus of the image.

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