RULE OF THIRDS – MYTH OR TRUTH? PART TWO
Words & Images by Dave Stevenson
Fortunately, photographic anoraks have your back. “The rule of thirds!”, they’ll shout. “Use the rule of thirds!” Use the rule of thirds and all will be well. Your pictures will be pleasingly composed, and serious-looking landscape photographers everywhere will nod approvingly.
The rule of thirds, for the uninitiated, goes thusly: the human brain quite likes an image which isn’t centrally composed; so imagine your shot split into nine squares. What you have now is a grid, with two lines running vertically and two running horizontally. Like this:
The nice thing about the rule of thirds is that it works. If you don’t have a clever idea for a composition – juxtaposing a subject with its background, perhaps, or splitting a scene in half to make the most of light and shadow, using the rule of thirds is a reliable little way of composing images that saves you having to do much thinking.
So, rule of thirds: myth or truth? You’ll have to imagine us banging down the OLYMPUS Gavel of Truth here: it’s a thing, and a useful one at that. But just because someone calls it a rule doesn’t mean you always have to do what it says…