Week 1 – Rule of Thirds

My journey to learn Landscape Photography Composition begins with the Rule of Thirds. This is the first Challenge in my 52 Week Landscape Photography Composition Challenge. My goal is to go out and shoot photos using specific Compositional Techniques so I can tell a compelling story with my photos.

I specifically assigned Rule of Thirds as the first challenge and Compositional Technique. Rule of Thirds is one of the (if not THE) most used and well-known ‘rule’. You’ll see this technique used in paintings, photography, and even videography. It is so common that your Camera has an option to display it on your LCD.

So, what’s the Rule of Thirds? Basically, you have to imagine breaking your frame down into ‘thirds’; both horizontally and vertically. Once you do this, you’ll have 9 parts. Like the image below.

Image result for rule of thirds


As you can see from the grid above, you now have four focus points as well as four intersecting lines. While framing your scene, you can use this grid as a guideline and place important elements in one (or more) of the focus points as well as in the intersecting lines.

The theory behind this ‘rule’ is that if you place key elements of your image in the four points or the intersecting lines, your photo becomes balanced, energized; it creates interest and enables your viewer to interact with your image naturally.

Rule of Thirds is probably my go-to Compositional Technique. One, because I know it very well and for the longest time, one of the few techniques I knew. And two, because it works extremely well. No wonder, it has been used for thousands of years.

For this week’s Challenge, I am using one of my shots from my recent trip to Walton Lighthouse. As I mentioned above, most of my photos use the Rule of Thirds in one way or the other. As you can see from this photo, I have use the Rule of Thirds in multiple ways: 1) I have put the Lighthouse in one of the intersecting points as well as one of the vertical lines. 2) I have put the horizon on the top third so I have 1/3 sky and 2/3 water.

I feel that the Rule of Thirds, even though is very commonly used and easily recognizable, it does work. This is a good example of the Rule of Thirds in action.




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