RULE OF THIRDS

WHAT IS THE RULE OF THIRDS?

Theory

WHAT IS THE RULE OF THIRDS?

One-third of the rules involve mentally dividing your image using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines, as shown below. Place the important elements in your scene along those lines or where they meet.

rule of thirds photography

The rule of the one-third phase. The main elements (the shed, and the boundary between the floor and the trees) are placed in lines and intersections. Picture Martin Comal.

The idea is that an off-center combination is more pleasing to the eye and looks more natural than where the object is placed in the middle of the frame. It also encourages you to use the negative space and the empty space around your subject creatively.

HOW TO USE THE RULE OF THIRDS

When designing a photo, imagine the scene as mentioned above. Think about which elements of the photo are most important and try to place them at or near the lines and intersections of the grid. They do not have to be properly lined up as long as they are close.

rule of thirds definition

The horizon and the main object in this photo are placed near the lines or intersections for maximum impact. Picture K. Preslovich.

You may have to move to get the best mix. It encourages you to think more carefully about the shot, and it’s a good habit to get it a third of the time whether or not you use it.
To help you, some cameras have a system that overwrites the fate of a third of your photo. This eliminates all speculation and helps to get your position more accurate.

Examples
One-third rule is very versatile and can be used in any case. Below are some examples of how it can be used effectively in a variety of scenarios.

Image by Andreas Wonisch.
Image by Andreas Wonisch.

In landscape scenes, it is common to position the horizon at the center of the frame, but this gives the photo a “split in two” feel. Instead, place one of the horizontal lines.
Try adding another interesting object like the tree in the photo above and place it according to a one-third rule. It provides the natural focal point “anchor” for the display.

rule of thirds grid
Image by Megan Leetz.

It is good to keep people on one side of the law. It provides some “breathing space”, shows the context of the object, and blocks the photo like a max shot.
We are naturally attracted to people’s eyes. Place one of the intersections of the rule of one-third of the phase to give the shot a clear focal point.

rule of thirds photography
Image by Prem Anandh.

The main object here is placed at a diagonal and with a vertical line. The branch roughly follows the upper horizontal line. The blank space on the bottom left provides balance and prevents the image from being crowded.

Vertical subjects

Vertical subjects such as this lighthouse can split a photo in two, in the same way, that a horizon can be done horizontally. To avoid this, keep them centered in your mix.

the RULE OF THIRDS

When photographing moving subjects, position them as normal, but also pay attention to the direction they’re moving. As a general rule, you should leave more space in front of them than behind, to show where they’re going.

USING EDITING SOFTWARE

You can easily use a third of it by cropping up existing photos. This allows you to modify the important subjects in your film and move them to more enjoyable levels.

EDITING SOFTWARE
Re-cropping to use the rule of thirds can improve composition.

To help you, there are built-in “crop guide overlays” in software such as Photoshop and Lightroom, which have a one-third option. This places the rule of one-third of the phase when carving your image, which allows you to get your position.

How to Use the Rule of Thirds Effortlessly

Rule of Thirds Effortlessly

If you are one of those students who loved art classes but hated math, it may come as a shock to the computer to discover how much math you will use as a professional designer. In fact, mathematical skills are absolutely essential for print design — at the very least, you need to know how to measure your bleeding area and understand the body size of your canvas.
But if you want to understand more than the basics of mathematics, you can use those numbers and measurements to turn a design into an object of beauty. One-third of design is relatively easy to understand, but this one concept will make you a significantly stronger designer. Don’t worry you don’t need a Ph.D. in applied mathematics to understand one-third. Read on to find out how easy it is.

HOW THE RULE OF THIRDS WORKS

A third rule is that if you simply take a canvas and divide it into three equal horizontal sections and three equal vertical sections, the resulting grid provides a kind of “road map” that allows you to choose where to place your design elements. Any graphic design software (including Photoshop) worth its salt can use a one-third grid rule for your canvas and crop, but the grids are enough to make your own – you can even draw it directly in printed format if you wish.
The rule of one-third of the phase can be applied to any size design – the phase does not have to be any specific dimensions. It should be divided equally into three vertical and three horizontal sections. This creates a 3 × 3 grid similar to the opening title card of “Brady Punch”.

RULE OF THIRDS WORKS

That doesn’t mean you end up with nine equal-sized squares. If your design is not a perfect square, you will divide it into nine rectangles.
When you work on a print graphic design, keep in mind that you need to measure the size of one-third of your grid according to the visible sections of your canvas. If you measure from the bleeding areas, you will end up with a grid that places the key elements very close to the edge of the page for comfort.

FINDING THE IDEAL FOCAL POINT

So now that one-third of your grid is built, what are you using it for? Think of your grid as a kind of graph where lines intersect the main focal points in your design. Bringing an element to one of these intersections will allow it to stand out more, while more distant objects will receive less attention. Think of your grid as a kind of graph where lines intersect the main focal points in your design. Bringing an element to one of these intersections will allow it to stand out more, while more distant objects will receive less attention.

RULE OF THIRDS WORKS

Whenever viewers see a design, they tend to follow the capital “F” shape with their eyes. The eye naturally starts at the top left of the canvas, then moves to the bottom left, then to the top right, and finally to the bottom right.
But this does not mean that the top left cross-section is the main design real estate and the rest of the canvas is useless. Instead, one-third should act as a guide to help achieve visual balance and interest. For example, an element on the top left of the grid would appear to be almost identical to an element touching the top right and bottom right intersections.

 

USING THE RULE OF THIRDS TO CREATE VISUAL INTEREST

The rule of thirds allows you to give your graphic design an asymmetrical look – but you’ll want to squash that intuition. While it is true that humans are naturally attracted to symmetry, this is an easy way to go unnoticed because we have always been accustomed to seeing it. Creating something asymmetrical sends a signal to our brain that something is different, which is more likely to involve us.

CREATE VISUAL INTEREST

Although symmetry is not always necessary for good design, balance is absolutely essential. The rule of thirds is one of the best tools to help you figure out how to use the asymmetric balance to your advantage. If your design is unbalanced, it will throw off the whole look. Using the rule of thirds helps maintain good balance while keeping things asymmetrical.
Because by the rule of one-third of the phase, you know which parts of the canvas weigh the most. If you have something important in the lower-left cross-section, you do not want to hide it in the upper left cross-section. But on the other hand, the lower left and upper right intersections fit very evenly, so centering the elements in these areas creates an easy balance.

RULE OF THIRDS IN PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography is a part of the design where you really want to focus on one-third. Fortunately, modern technology has made this easier for designers. Most digital cameras have an option to rule out a third of the phase, just like most camera phone apps.
Even if you do not use the original photo in your print designs, get in the habit of using this step whenever you take photos. You will start to get a sense of where the fate of the third stage is, even if you don’t really have it.
There are a few things to keep in mind when taking photos using the one-third rule. It is best to align one of the horizontal lines at your point on the horizon in your photo. For landscapes, it is generally best to keep the horizon in a horizontal line so that the image shows more material and less empty space. Photography is a part of the design where you really want to focus on two-thirds. Fortunately, modern technology has made this easier for designers. Most digital cameras have an option to rule out a third of the phase, just like most camera phone apps.
Even if you do not use the original photo in your print designs, get in the habit of using this step whenever you take photos. You will begin to get a sense of where the fate of the one-third stage is, even if you don’t really have it.
There are a few things to keep in mind when taking photos using the one-third rule. It is best to align one of the horizontal lines at your point on the horizon in your photo. For landscapes, it is generally best to keep the horizon in a horizontal line so that the image shows more material and less empty space.

RULE OF THIRDS IN PHOTOGRAPHY

When taking a portrait, try to format your photo so that one or more things are aligned with a cross-section at eye level. Intersections represent areas that have the most viewers in your design, so by placing the eyes of the viewer in those areas, you force your audience to make eye contact with your subject. Just as real eye contact with another person establishes a better social connection, it also creates a stronger connection between the audience and your design.

Grid system

If you’re not taking original photography for your print designs, you can still apply the rule of thirds principle to the images you have to work with. Make use of cropping techniques to give them a better composition.

Rule of third
Rule of third

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