Simplifying The Rule Of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a deceptively simple technique that can be used to improve the composition of your photos and give them more balance, focus, and make them more engaging. Because of how easy it is to use it is arguably the first technique that you should try to master – assuming you haven’t already.

In a very basic sense all you need to do to use the rule of thirds is divide your photo into thirds both horizontally and vertically. It should be noted that nowadays all you need to do is turn on the grid on most cameras to achieve this.

Once you’ve divided your photo into thirds, you can then position and align the elements based on the:


Essentially there will be 4 lines (2 vertical, 2 horizontal) that you can use to position your elements to give them balance or line them up so that the viewers’ eyes are naturally guided from one element to the next. By lining up elements according to the gridelines they’ll be off-center, which is generally more pleasing.

Intersection points

The 4 intersection points of the gridlines can be used as focal points for your photo’s composition. By positioning important elements on one of them you can use that as the de facto ‘center’ of the photo, and arrange the rest of the composition around it.


By dividing your frame up in this fashion you’ll effectively end up with 9 sections and you can position your elements so that they are in one (or more than one) section. In some ways this is an extension of positioning elements according to the gridelines – but with the added aim of placing the main part of that element in a particular section.

As much as the rule of thirds is primarily a technique that is used when capturing photos, it can also be applied during the editing stage to improve the composition of your photos.

If you’d like to try it out you should use Movavi Photo Editor, as it has the tools you’ll need to edit your photos frame and composition while guided by what you’ve just learned.

To be more specific you could use the features in Movavi Photo Editor to crop your photo so that it is framed according to the rule of thirds, level it to line up with one of the gridlines, or even remove any elements that you feel are detracting from it. In short you could apply the rule of thirds, even after you’ve captured your photos.

Of course aside from that Movavi Photo Editor will let you improve your photo in other ways as well – rule of thirds notwithstanding. Its features will let you enhance the quality of your photos, fix any blurry segments, apply creative filters, add customizable text fields, touch up portraits, and much more.

Although some of these features may sound complicated, they are designed in such a way that you won’t need much time to learn how to use them. In fact if you spend a few minutes exploring Movavi Photo Editor’s features and trying to apply them – you should be able to figure out how each one works.

With what you now know about the rule of thirds, you should be able to capture better photos and edit them more effectively using Movavi Photo Editor as well. It will take a bit of experimentation and experience to master the rule of thirds, but at very least you should now have a starting point that you can use to improve your photos immediately.

All written content (and most images) in these articles are copyrighted by the authors. Copyrighted material from Apogee Photo Mag should not be used elsewhere without seeking the authors permission.

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