Quick Guide to the Rule of Thirds for Artists and Photographers

Rule of Thirds in Photography

Today, when we think of the Rule of Thirds, photography is the creative field that most commonly comes to mind. Less technical than the golden ratio, it's a nice beginner's rule of thumb. And while it's often associated with landscape photography, the guideline works across any photographic genre. Let's take a look at some examples of how photographers employ the Rule of Thirds in their work to highlight different areas of importance.

Examples of the Rule of Thirds in Landscape and Nature Photography

Whether it's following the peaks of mountains or a cascade of water as it crashes down, balancing the elements of the natural world can be aided by the Rule of Thirds. Of course, it's important not to get too hung up on the rule, but it's a great beginners trick to help improve your work and take your landscape and nature photography to another level.

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How the Rule of Thirds is Used in Portrait Photography

Creating a balanced composition in a portrait—whether or a human or animal—can be tricky, but the Rule of Thirds allows you to be more subtle than you think. Applying the rule doesn't always mean positioning the subject off center. Creative use of lines, whether through the position of limbs or facial features or drawing on the surroundings, can make for an effective image within the Rule of Thirds grid.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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