Rule of Thirds?

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    Caitlin Compton

    I’ve always implemented the rule of thirds (or tool of thirds, as I prefer it!) a lot into my photos, and I’ve thought of it as a really good and strong composition technique. And I recon it’s probably one of the most well known composition tools – everyone seems to mention it! 🙂 But, recently I watched a great video recommended by Lenspiration called ‘Mastering the Art of Composition’ by Ian Plant. (It was really good and I learnt a ton!) But in it he didn’t speak very highly of the tool of thirds. I guess he sort of think of it as an overused photography technique and something that limits you. And, he actually likes centred compositions, which I barely ever use! (he did say that he sometimes use the tool of thirds) So, I was just curious as to what other people think of the tool of thirds? Is it a good/professional composition technique?

    Morgan Giesbrecht

    You’ve brought up a really interesting point, @creative-click-photography!

    Personally, I’m a big fan of the rule of thirds. I like the balance it creates and that fact that it gives me room for overlaying text onto the image (which is something I do with a lot of my photos). With that being said though, I also really like central composition.

    One thing with centring subjects is that if your subject isn’t *perfectly* centred, the image looks off. Now, I know that can be corrected in post, but it is something I’ve run into. The other downfall I’ve hear about central composition is the fact that centralized subject images tend to have more of a “snap shot” appearance than a “professional” appearance. (I think that depends on the subject and the photographer since I’ve seen some stunning central composition images that don’t look like snapshots!)

    In my portfolio, the rule of thirds is the most common composition tool you’d see. It’s my preference and also what I’m most comfortable with, but I think central composition has its place.

    One thing I’d recommend…take a variety of shots! Take that rule of thirds composition shot and then shoot it with central composition. See what you like better and what suits your style.

    I’ve attached an example of central composition from my portfolio below. (It was originally horizontal, but I cropped it for an assignment. So the following comment is based off the horizontal idea.) If I had taken this shot using the rule of thirds, it’d have looked kinda strange. The subject is too little for the amount of green space.

    Ultimately, I think it’s a style preference. If you love central composition shots, go for it! If you love the rule of thirds, but are feeling adventurous, dabble in the realm of central composition. Experimentation will be your best friend. 🙂

    Hope that helps!

    Lydia Bennett

    I can’t speak from a professional opinion, @creative-click-photography, but I definitely prefer the term the “tool” of thirds vs “rule” of thirds. I think that’s exactly what it is. A tool. And just like a tool, it’s great for some situations and not for others. I think it’s kind of like asking which is better, a hammer or a screwdriver? Well it depends on what you’re making and if you should use nails or screws. 🙂

    For me, when I started taking pictures I didn’t know much of anything technical about cameras or think much about composition. I just took pictures of things that I thought looked nice in a way I thought looked nice. So for me, these rules/tools of composition are things that I’m trying to learn to apply to improve my eye and thus my photos. 🙂 I’m trying to learn to be intentional in my composition with the aid of these tools.

    At the same time, photography is art, so there’s plenty of room for personal taste and creativity.

    Like @morganwriter1gmail-com said, some scenes call for centered composition and others call for the tool of thirds.

    James Staddon

    Oh how I love discussions on composition!! Shall we plan to bring it up at the end of the webinar tonight?! I have a couple thoughts, but it’s such a deep topic that I’m sure we will be talking about it for the rest of our lives! 🙂

    James Staddon

    I’m sure we’ll revisit this topic, but for now, here are my thoughts from last night’s webinar!

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