“The Rule of Thirds is a photography concept that puts the subject of the photograph off-center, which usually results in blank space in the rest of the image.”
No, it isn’t. This isn’t what the rule of thirds means. That is wrong information. Primitive. Over-simplified. Take a look at this excerpt from the Digital Photograph School website:
The basic principle behind the rule of thirds is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have 9 parts. As follows.
With this grid in mind, the ‘rule of thirds’ identifies four important parts of the image that you should consider placing points of interest in as you frame your image.
Not only this – but it also gives you four ‘lines’ that are also useful positions for elements in your photo.
Rule of Thirds in Photography
The theory is that if you place points of interest in the intersections or along the lines that your photo becomes more balanced and will enable a viewer of the image to interact with it more naturally. Studies have shown that when viewing images that people’s eyes usually go to one of the intersection points most naturally rather than the center of the shot – using the rule of thirds works with this natural way of viewing an image rather than working against it … (and) here (is an) example:
It does not mean pushing your primary image off to one side to leave the rest blank. Most photographers have an instinctive feel for balance in a photograph and other than reminding them they shouldn’t always put the subject dead in the middle of the photo, will discover this for themselves. Correctly. With balance and art.
Check out the Digital Photography School website’s article on “The Rule of Thirds” for the whole story. It’s an excellent article.
Composition cannot — should not — be reduced to a rule. Knowing the rule of thirds doesn’t mean you must adhere to it. I had never heard of the “rule of thirds” until I had been taking pictures for most of my life. Oddly, most of my landscapes fit the parameters. If you have a good eye, you will take pictures people like to look at. I don’t know anyone who thinks, even for a moment, about any rules while they are shooting. They just “see it” and press the shutter.
Don’t over-think your process. Don’t try to force your photographs into a specific format. Sometimes, right down the middle is exactly where your primary image belongs. Just — not all the time.
In art, there are never any hard and fast rules. Just suggestions. Loose guidelines. You’ll find your own rules as you work.