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what is the rule of thirds in photography

What, Why, and When to Break It

The rule of thirds is probably one of the first “rules” a new photographer will come across. And for good reason. It’s used all the time, not just in photography, but in almost every film or TV show you’ve ever seen.

The Rule Of Thirds: What is it exactly?

The rule of thirds is a composition concept where we split out our image into nine equal squares. We use these segments — and the lines they create — to help us compose our images better.

When to break the Rule of Thirds

The great thing about the rule of thirds technique is, generally speaking, it works brilliantly for any style of photography. Landscape? Portraiture? Astrophotography? All good.

Using the Rule of Thirds in Editing

While it’s always better to get your composition right in-camera, sometimes we don’t. We’re all human after all. But all is not lost! If you’ve taken an interesting photo and it isn’t quite working out for some reason, you can always adjust the crop in your editing software.

Horizons: pay special attention to them

Horizons have the power to make or break an image, and the rule of thirds grid can come in super handy. First of all, you can use your grid to keep your horizons straight. They probably should be straight at all times unless you’ve gone for something intentionally jaunty.


To conclude, the rule of thirds is an essential stepping stone in developing our own unique style. Once we know how it works, and get to grips with it, we can experiment and have fun with our photography. The rule of thirds is a perfect starting point to get your creative ideas flowing.

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iPhotography Course not only teaches you all the standard technical expertise, settings, skills, and special effects with your camera – but we also show you how to use these skills to develop your own individual style as a photographer.

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