Rule of Thirds


One of the guidelines for evaluating the composition of a photograph is known as the Rule of Thirds. This “rule” proposes that you divide a photograph into nine equal parts by drawing (or imagining) two vertical lines and two horizontal lines equally spaced over the image.

The Rule of Thirds suggests that important elements of a photograph should cross these grid lines or the intersections of these lines. This creates a more balanced photograph that allows the viewer to interact with it more organically. You’ll notice that most professional photographers apply this guideline when setting up their shot composition to create more compelling images with greater visual tension and energy.

This photo was taken by Ryan Gillis Photography ( and he applies the Rule of Thirds to this gorgeous shot of the Macdonald Bridge. The railway tracks fall along the bottom horizontal line and this give us a sense of distance and depth. The pillars of the bridge fall along the other vertical lines within the imagined grid. Overall, this is a beautiful shot and it is a perfect example of how the Rule of Thirds is practically applied.



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