The Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a well-known guideline for capturing great photos. To use it, visualize a three-by-three grid overlaying your image frame or camera’s viewfinder. The evenly-spaced horizontal and vertical lines create four intersections that are ideal spots to place the focal point of your shot. In doing so, you will balance the subject of your photo with negative space (i.e., empty boxes), which is a hallmark of eye-catching photos.

Of course, there are other ways to compose a photo. And experienced photographers will be most successful deviating from this rule. Centering the focal point, filling the frame, and pulling away from your subject can all be highly effective techniques but are more challenging to execute successfully. If you’re looking for a simple and reliable approach to snapping well-balanced photos, the rule of thirds will deliver every time.