ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Arts and Design»
  • Photography

How to Incorporate the Rule of Thirds Into Your Photos

Updated on June 9, 2016

A picture is worth a thousand words...so tell a story with your photographs.


The Rule of Thirds makes photographs more appealing and interesting.
The Rule of Thirds makes photographs more appealing and interesting.

What is the Rule of Thirds?

The rule of thirds is a simple strategy used commonly by professional and amateur photographers alike. This strategy consists of lining up lines or hotspots on a grid with your subject. This grid can be imagined, and some cameras allow the option to superimpose grid lines onto your viewscreen. But remember, only use the rule of thirds while taking the photo, don't superimpose a grid onto the actual photograph after it has been taken. This shouldn't be a problem, most cameras only have the grid on the photo as you take it, not after.

This strategy is probably my favorite strategy, because of how easy it is. After practicing, you will be able to apply this strategy, almost without thinking!

Using the Rule of Thirds

Using the rule of thirds is very easy, and can be implemented as you are taking the photo, rather than editing the picture afterwards. There are two main ways to implement the rule of thirds into your photographs: Lining up hotspots, and lining up grid lines.

Using Hotspots With the Rule of Thirds

Four Hotspots on a Grid
Four Hotspots on a Grid

Using hotspots is the first way to use the rule of thirds we will be looking at. See the four points circled in red on the grid? Those are the four hotspots. They can be lined up with certain items or points of interest in the scene. For instance, look at this photo below. To take this, I lined up the two hotspots on the right side with the corners and points of the wall on the right of the stone steps.

Taken with a shutter speed of 1/320 and an aperture of f/3.5.
Taken with a shutter speed of 1/320 and an aperture of f/3.5.

This photo appears more artistic and interesting than, say, if the picture had been taken of the steps straight on without the rule of thirds. The strategy gives the picture a more creative aspect. It encaptures the sprawling nature of the stone walls, the patterns in the brick, and the overall age and steadfast firmness of the staircase altogether.

Use the hotspots when photographing a scene with solid details or objects. For example, a persons eyes, building corners, any non-linear details. For the linear side of things, grid lines would be a more adequate choice. So, let's take a look at what grid lines can do for your photography!

Using Grid Lines With the Rule of Thirds

The Four Main Lines on a Grid
The Four Main Lines on a Grid

The second way to implement the rule of thirds is by following grid lines. In the picture above, I have highlighted the four lines in the center square of the grid. However, feel free to use any of the lines in your photos! I usually use the two middle vertical lines the most often. I find that using the rule of thirds with horizontal grid lines, rather than hotspots, is great for photographing a horizon or skyline. These lines are also very useful when photographing buildings and structures, as the grid lines highlight architectural features.

Take a look at the photo below for an example.

Taken with a shutter speed of 1/1250 and an aperture of f/3.5.
Taken with a shutter speed of 1/1250 and an aperture of f/3.5.

In this photo, I lined up the vertical grid lines with the sides of the church tower, emphasizing it's size and sharp edges. Combined with the angle I shot from, the tower appears more imposing and, well, towering.

So, as you can see, photographs are improved by the use and implementation of the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is an easy, versatile tool that can be used in a variety of types of photography. When used correctly, it can make your photos more interesting and artistic. It also shows the focus of the photograph, making it clear what the subject of your photo is supposed to be. The rule of thirds can be used by anyone with any camera, from camera phone to DSLR. Using the rule of thirds will make your photographs more artistic, more interesting, more storytelling, and just better overall!

Camera Used: Canon EOS Rebel T5

Canon or Nikon?

See results

© 2016 Jack Armstrong

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)