Using the Rule of Thirds

One of the primary concepts of good composition is based on geometry. The Rule of Thirds says that if you mentally divide an image into a grid of nine equal segments, as shown in Figure 19-1, the elements most appealing to the eye and most likely to be noticed first are those that fall on or close to the intersections between the sections, on the dividing lines. Therefore, when framing your shot, try mentally dividing your frame into vertical and horizontal thirds and position the main focal point, your most important visual element, of the shot at any one intersection of the dividing lines. Check out the image of the buffalo in Color Plate 19-8 to see this rule in action.

For portraits, try putting the face or eyes of a person at one of those intersecting points, as shown in Figure 19-1.

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