Sunday, March 02, 2008


In one of my classes, there is an item about the "rule of thirds" in composition. That's not in a photography class, so I don't particularly emphasize the details of the "rule" -- I'm just happy enough that students are exposed to the idea.

The part they struggle with? Not the idea of dividing the composition into three parts or putting main subjects at the point where imaginary lines meet (for example, a third from the top and a third from the side). Instead, they struggle with why this is good and what it achieves.

While some can restate what they read in the lesson -- that this might make a more interesting and dynamic picture -- others overstate the case greatly. You get the sense that composing using the rule of thirds will make the world a better, finer place. Perhaps it will.

Previous notes on the "rule of thirds" are here and here.

Above: a very literal version of the rule of thirds.

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