Research: Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a well-known compositional technique used to make images dynamic. According to this compositional technique, an image is most pleasing when a subject or region is composed along the imaginary lines that divide the image into thirds both vertically and horizontally. This is due to the sense of balance and complexity that is created without having the image looking too busy. An example is below.

The Rule of Thirds

According to this technique the most important idea is not to have the main subject or region located in the centre of the image. For landscapes, the horizon should align with the upper or lower third of the image. And for subjects, on either side of the image. On most DSLR cameras there is an option to have the rule of third lines on screen while taking an image.

Although, it is possibly to break the rule of thirds and successfully have a subject located in the centre. I want to do this as it will work well with my leading lines while emphasising symmetry. Furthermore, it will make my subject look more confronting which is what I am looking for. The audience will be drawn to the person first and be unaware of what is going on in the background, just as the person in the image is unaware.

An example of the rule of thirds being broken is below.

breaking the rule of thirds - emphasizing symmetry

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