Taking Better Photos with the Rule of Thirds

Have you ever thought that you should be able to take pictures like professionals? Every time you look at photos taken by professionals, you see the lighting, the compositions, the color, and its view, you thought like “Damn! Why can’t I take pictures like them?” Don’t worry, I’m going to tell you how to do it, in the un-amateur way. 

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Lindsay Natalia

There are things to think about while taking pictures, such as composition, lighting, color, perspective, etc. Right now my main focus is composition, or as they call it, the Rule of Thirds. It is known as a “main rule” in composition of art and photography. For me personally, it’s the most crucial thing, because both lighting and color can be modified on certain software kits.

The definition of the rule of thirds is when you divide your screen or your photos into 9 imaginary sections, also known as grid. The use of the grid itself is to help you compose a picture, to show more of the elements / the key of the picture, the main focus of its picture. Some people don’t use the grids nowadays, they use their camera too often that in the end they turn off the feature, but some professionals still use grid to compose great pictures.

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Image with grid and white space

Most cameras are provided with a grid system, when you are not sure with what you do, it is best if you turn it on (remember, every tool has different options to turn it on, you should check the manual book or search it on the internet).

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Photo of a person holding a smartphone with a grid in it

When you are taking photos of people (probably one or two person) with a nice background, it is never a good composition to put an object or two people at the center of the picture, unless it is a group photo.

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This is how you do it

If you enjoy the rule of thirds you can also look up via the term “golden ratio” which has a slightly more scientific approach to it. Try the Wikipedia article if you are feeling thirsty for more.

That is not so good composition
That is not so good composition

So if you want your photos look more professional, try using the grid function every time you take a picture. Good luck!

About the Author

Lindsay Natalia was majoring in Visual Communication Design but thought that it was a mistake. Still doing photography and also tutoring in a university in Indonesia twice a week. Find her on instagram @lindsaynatalia.

Photo credit: Lindsay Natalia / Aikawa Ke

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