Friendly Friday: Rule of Thirds II

For the first Friendly Friday Challenge of the year, Sarah’s asked us to share photos demonstrating the Rule of Thirds.

In my last post I said that I was an intuitive shooter who paid little attention to the rules. One of the problems with not playing by the rules is not knowing them very well.

Case in point, the Rule of Thirds says not only that a picture should be considered in a nine grid frame but also that the the subject or focal point should be in the left or right third of an image, leaving the other two thirds more open.

Considering that, my demonstration shot was probably not the best example. Although I like this picture, it is definitely centered to the middle, around the third boy.

Boys day out

Here is an alternate crop with the main subject(s) offset to the left third of the image.

Do you think this is a better image? Hmm. Maybe it’s not the right picture for the rule.

Here is another example. It was taken at the same Deoksugung Palace during the changing of guards. It was a long and elaborate ceremony on a hot and brilliantly sunny day. Can you feel it?

Changing of the Guards – Deoksugung Palace – Seoul

According to the RoT, the main subject is off-center, mostly positioned in the left third of the frame. His eyes are glaring at me, just above the first horizon with a dead-in-the-eye stare at the first intersection point. On the right-hand side, the background of yellow guards fill most of the remaining space.

This picture is not perfectly proportioned. It might have been better framed if I’d been five inches taller (or he’d been five inches shorter) but that’s generally the case with me. Many of my close-up shots are made with my camera pointing up or not very close at all.

On the other hand, if I’d had my grid overlay in camera and had been paying attention to the RoT, I might not have taken the shot. In this case, not knowing the rules garnered me a memorable photo!


  1. Your third photo is a great example of why this rule can help add impact to a shot, but it should never stand in the way of taking any other photo that doesn’t adhere to it, as your other shots prove. Actually I prefer the uncropped version of the boys shot above, regardless of any rules! Some shots just work and that is one of them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This rule helps to change a normal shot to an outstanding one but it should never stop anyone to take a memorable photo like yours. I don’t see anything wrong with any of them. They are excellent street photography, you captured a moment in time beautifully. Isn’t that what really matters?

    Liked by 1 person

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