Photo Commentary #26: Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds Used in a Landscape

Photo Commentary #26: Rule of Thirds

Photo Commentary #26: Rule of Thirds 1024 606 varunvisuals
Rule of Thirds Used in a Landscape

In this image, the Rule of Thirds is applied two times in two different ways – the waterfall is centered on an intersection point but the mountain is composed along one of the guidelines in the imaginary grid.

In one of my previous posts, I quickly mentioned a concept called the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds is a guideline that landscape photographers often utlizie when determining the composition of their photo. So how is this done?

Well imagine there is a 3×3 grid placed on top of the photo or scene you are trying to capture/edit (hence the name) – you may have seen this before, probably as one of the settiings in your phone’s camera. The idea is that you want to place your main subject at any of the 4 intersection points, or along one of the guidelines. Reason being that viewers’ eyes tend to naturally gravitate towards those area of an image, video, artwork, etc. Therefore, it makes more sense to place the subect where the audience will naturally look first.

This is similar to the idea behind leading lines – except rather than using a photo’s element to guide the viewers’ eyes, you are using natural human behavior to your advantage. However, both are pertinent to audience perception and attention.

In this beautiful photo taken by Ray Bilcliff, the waterfall sits near one of the intersection points of the imaginary grid – the bottom right intersection point in particular. To add to this, there is an obvious contrast between the warm hues of the sky and landscape compared to the cool white of the water (which is also another example of long exposure photography being utilized to capture waterscapes). The mountain on the other hand, sits on not an intersection point, but a guideline – the first vertical line from the left. In both cases, the subject(s) of the photo are composed in a way that the viewer has to search less and well…admire more. No wonder this photo is so visually appealing 

Also, check out Ray’s websiite and instagram to see more stunning waterscapes! He is a retired scuba and karate instructor, how cool is that!

Photographer: Ray Bilcliff

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