While composing shots with your camera, one of the basics you’ll want to master is The Rule of Thirds.

After all, it is a technique developed by the Masters, way before cameras were even invented. All kinds of studies and theories have been done and conclusions drawn by brain scientists as to how our eyes are drawn to the thirds of a picture. Others say the Rule of Thirds creates energy and exciting tension and that’s why it was developed (Thank you, Mr. Wikipedia have a baloney sandwich on my tab, sometime).
Camera-Talk-thirds-Mike-Lynch600If only the Masters were around today. They’d probably tell all the knuckleheads analyzing and theorizing to go do something important, like, “ Go pick up all the plastic water bottles and bags ruining the landscape. Quit trying to pick our poor brains while we’re dead. Here’s the secret. The real reason we invented The Rule of Thirds, they’d say is:
“Because It Makes Your Pictures LOOK GREAT”

Now, if your camera has a display that places a Tick-Tack-Toe symbol over the scene while composing, that’s a big plus. Just try and line the scene so that the subject is in one of the thirds of the photo. When you have a scene with horizontal lines, like a _Camera-Talk-thirds-M.Lynch800beach, ocean and sky, try to compose along the lines going across your scene. If the subject is vertical, use those lines.

One of my cameras doesn’t have the Tick-Tack-Toe feature so, I have to estimate. It takes a little practice but, isn’t that difficult. The Statue of Liberty I posted here was taken with my camera without a Rule of Thirds display. I just took another shot of it on my monitor, where I could show you the imaginary lines I use to take the picture. Why did I choose to place the subject in the left third of the picture rather than the right? Energy, tension, excitement, I guess. Now, I’m going to grab a baloney sandwich an head to the beach, see if anybody’s down there picking up trash. Until next time, Happy Shooting!

mikelynch200A wildlife photographer living in Okinawa, Japan, Mike has been published in Apogee Photo Magazine, Boots N all, Brave New Traveler, Go Nomad, Matador Abroad and Trips, The Nihon Sun, Travel Thru History, The Okinawan , Wend Magazine and Photo Guide Japan. He has recently joined the ranks of travel writers, capturing Nature, Festivals, Castles and Cultural shots of the Ryukyu Islands to share with the world.