Rule of thirds: frequently asked questions.
Can I break the rule of thirds?
The rule of thirds is one of the most broken rules in all of photography. Framing your shot where the subject or lines don’t stick to the conventions of the rule of thirds can still form a wonderful image. Filling the frame and placing your subject in the centre are often used in photography to great effect, despite breaking the rule of thirds.
What is the purpose of the rule of thirds?
The rule of thirds helps direct the viewer’s gaze to the main focal point of an image, whatever the subject may be. It makes the most of empty space by drawing your eye to a specific part of the image, emphasised through composition. Shooting or editing images to comply with the rule of thirds leaves you with a well-balanced and strong final image.
Does the rule of thirds apply to portraits?
The rule of thirds is applied to portrait photography in its position of the eyeline. Rather than having the face in the centre or filling the frame, professional portrait photographers normally place the eyeline along the top vertical line in a rule of thirds grid. The subject’s face won’t be central but there’s enough space for their head to draw interest from the viewer.