For some reason, an off-center picture is more pleasing to us. It looks more natural. We know from the Brain Game tv show that if we stare at something right in the middle of the screen, our peripheral vision diminishes to the point where it’s not working much at all. Maybe that is what’s happening… we like things off-centered so that we can see more of what’s going on around us.

rule of thirds grid

We also know that the brain fills in negative space, so maybe that’s all part of how we tell stories with pictures. You’ll see what I mean in a moment.

So let’s divide your view finder into a gird with nine boxes (see grid for landscape photos to the right). The rule of thirds says that you should place the subject of your picture on one of the points where the lines intersect.

Non-photographically speaking, reality isn’t centered. The real world is rarely framed front and center, so perhaps eccentric looks more natural because it is more natural.

Let me see what I can find that fits the challenge. Among my more than 100,000 images, there are bound to be a few, right?




Which Way Green River Bridge

pink chrysanthemum


fuchsia macro june 2015


Just remember: There are a million exceptions for every rule. Sometimes, the picture is in the middle and that’s precisely where it belongs.

45 thoughts on “CCY: RULE OF THIRDS – PART I

  1. Pingback: Cee’s Weekly Wrap Up – December 12, 2015 and Chanukah Festive Colors | Cee's Photography

  2. Lots to learn in this lil’ lesson on thirds. At least for me 🙂 I’ll be much more intuitive now in my photography. Those were some beautiful shots btw.


    • You’ve given me a real leg up on a marvelous week. I’m flying high thanks to you. Thank you again!! You are improving my work. There’s no such thing as “knowing everything.” We are always learning and you are helping. Thank you again!!


  3. Pingback: CCY: Week #9 Gold Star Award and Features Rule of Thirds Introduction | Cee's Photography

    • Thanks. That was what I was aiming for, just to illustrate that there are a lot of ways pictures align to that grid and it isn’t always as obvious as you think. I believe we do this instinctively anyway and don’t really have to force it. If you have an eye, you have an eye.


  4. So explain to me why when I lose something and can’t find it, it’s usually right in front of me where I should have been starring in the first place.., according to your opening statement? Never mind what cameras do I’ve got a problem here…


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