An Detailed Intro To The Rule Of Thirds In Photography

Rules are prison cell walls for the creative mind, so be on guard against them — don’t let them dominate your life.

They are only tools to help you. You cannot get through life with just a hammer, so why should photography be any different? Rules were meant to be broken! But… if you don’t know the rules, how do you break them?! Focus Wedding photographer team recommend to Understand the rule first and then slowly work your way towards breaking it. That’s a much more intelligent way to work.


The Rule of Thirds, as you probably already know, is a compositional tool that divides an image into thirds. There are two horizontal lines and two vertical lines making up the grid where the four intersections meet. This article will not go into depth about the rule itself, but will instead go into what it looks like in action.

After you have your image framed up how you want, imagine that the grid is placed over the top of your viewfinder or screen. You can then take a peek at where some of these intersections lay and see if they add to the dynamic range of your picture. The most important intersections are the four corners because they give you very clear indications of where objects can be placed to lead the viewer’s eye.

Advantages of Rule of Thirds 

1. Draws the viewer’s eye where you want it to go

We recommend that Instead of having your subject smack dab in the middle, dividing your frame into thirds and placing the subject on one of those lines gives you more dynamic range and expertise. This directs attention towards a specific direction.

2. Save time

When framing up a shot, imagine that grid over the top of your viewfinder. You can instantly assess if it helps or harms the image. Does it look good? Does it take away from the flow?

3. Organized chaos

Pictures are often filled with random objects, but when you place them along these lines, they automatically become more organized than if they were just thrown about willy-nilly.

4. Objects at 90 degrees create tension

Focus Wedding photographer Toronto team speculate that when an object is placed on a corner of the grid, it gives a signal to the viewer that there is something special about this specific point. All four corners have this effect, so you should use them sparingly or they will lose their power.

5. Give your photos a professional look

Let’s face it. If you don’t use the rule of thirds, your pictures will often come out looking amateurish. A lot of beginner photographers ignore this because they think that their skill level is beneath such techniques (which may be true), but with some practice and an open mind, you can accomplish amazing things!

Disadvantages of Rule of Thirds

1. Too many objects in a picture can make it chaotic

If you fill your frame with too many objects that all lay along these lines, then everything just becomes noise. It loses its impact and power because there is no center of attention. The viewer’s eye wanders around the image without stopping anywhere.

2. Harder to take a picture of someone

If the subject is going to be staring straight into the camera, then they’re going to look off-center with their face being one of the thirds instead of looking towards the center where you want them to pose. It’s best if your subjects look off-center so that it isn’t so obvious.

3. The subject stands out less

Focus Toronto wedding photographer team recommend to Think about it this way: you want the viewer to look at your subject, not admire how pretty everything else looks. This isn’t a contest of who can make the most beautiful image; it’s a means to tell a story or convey an emotion. If someone gazes at the background instead of your subject, then you’ve lost their attention.

4. Too many points of interest

When you place objects on these intersections, it becomes very hard to focus on what’s important in your image. Instead, place them off-center so that they can still grab the viewer’s attention without confusing or overwhelming them.

5. Distracting background

By putting the subject on one of these intersections, you might end up with an unsightly object in your photo. This is good for artistic reasons, but not if you want the subject to be noticed more.

How can I apply this?

1. Look at where the objects are that are already in your picture – If you’re taking a landscape shot, it’s safe to assume that the horizon is going to be on one of these lines. This isn’t always the case, but it will probably make for a better composition than having it dead-center.

2. Don’t worry about placing objects dead-center – You might get sick of hearing this, but there are no “rules” in photography. You can place your objects wherever you want them to be so long as it doesn’t detract from the picture’s impact. Try placing objects on each intersection to see how it looks compared to putting them dead-center.

3. We advise to look for ways that the lines could intersect with objects – Don’t cast aside objects that don’t seem to fit at first. They might not be dead-center, but you can still position them along these lines if they are perpendicular to one of the lines.

4. Take pictures from low angles – If you want your images to have more impact, take them from below instead of above. It gives a “big brother is watching” type of feeling that will let your subjects know that you’re in charge.

5. Try taking pictures from different angles – Instead of always shooting head-on, try taking pictures at an angle. Shooting such images forces the viewer to look around the image instead of just straight through it like traditional compositions.

6. Don’t focus on one object – If you’re trying to take a landscape photo, don’t just zero in on what you want to show off. Sometimes it can be hard to not look at the scenery as a whole and try to capture every detail of the environment, but by limiting how much is shown, it draws attention towards what you do want the viewer to see.

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Toronto Wedding photographer

Welcome to Focus Photography, we are a team of Toronto Wedding Photographers.

We specialize in creative, timeless wedding photography and cinematography with a modern and candid appeal.

We are best known for our creative approach to composition, non invasive style of documenting natural moments, flexibility in package customization and top notch dedication in customer service.

Since our inception in 2015, we have captured hundreds of weddings worldwide.

For each of the weddings, we strive to produce natural candid photography, with precision attention to details, companied by cinematic storytelling.

Since 2015, we have been servicing our wedding photography and wedding videography work in Greater Toronto Area, Ontario.

Our studio is based in Toronto, by Markham Road and Mcnicoll.

We are honoured to be a leader in the Toronto Videography industry.

By 2019, we have been named as top wedding photographers and videographers on wedding wire, even featured on 500px.  We are honoured and proud that our work has also been featured in Wedluxe, Pop Sugar, WPIC, Gay Wedding Mag, Elegant Wedding, Aisle Memories, Hey Wedding Lady, Modwedding, Brides and Weddings, Style Me Pretty Contributor via Lovely Find, Inspire Bride. 

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