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The Rule of 3rds
The rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb in visual arts such as
photography and other graphic and art design fields. The rule
states that an image should be imagined as divided into nine
equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two
equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional
elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections.
The technique that aligns a subject with these points creates
more tension, energy and interest in the composition than
simply centering the subject would.
The photograph (right) demonstrates the application of the
rule of thirds. The horizon formed by the tree top sits at
the horizontal line dividing the lower third of the photo
from the upper two-thirds. The bird'shead is at the intersection
of two lines, sometimes called a power point. Points of interest
in the photo don't have to actually touch one of these lines
to take advantage of the rule of thirds. For example, the
brightest part of the crowd does not fall directly on one
of the lines, but close enough to take advantage of the rule.
Do you want to know more?
Here is a 6 minute video on the Golden Mean which is what
the Rule of 3rds is distilled from.