Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds, by Guacira Naves

This weekend I was introduced to the Rule of Thirds, an image composition principle that I was unfamiliar with. The above is the first experiment resulting from this newfound theory.



  1. Interesting because I learned about that so long ago that I can’t remember when or how (design school, earlier?). I had completely forgotten about it until the other day during the first painting class of this session when the teacher went over it. We had all done a bunch of thumbnails of a still-life before starting to paint and when I looked at my own sketches, they were all following that principle. I asked whether it was possible that we intuitively compose images like that and she said that this had likely become a standard precisely because it’s what artists tend to do intuitively. In fact, I’ll bet if you start analyzing all your best shots, you’ll find you’ve done the very same. Neat eh?

    Gorgeous shot by the way. I’ll have to find other words compliment you on your shots because “gorgeous” is getting redundant, don’t you think? ;-)

  2. guacira

    You’re so generous with your comments and encouragement, and for that, I’m very grateful.
    About “intuitively composing images like that”, it’s exactly what I was told – that if I were to look at my previous work, I’d probably find several instances where that was unconsciously applied.
    I was also carefully guided to not let the “rule of thirds” become a hard-fastened rule. Rather, it’s a principle to keep in mind.

    • Exactly. I would say that pretty much goes for ANY rule. Rigidity is never the way to go… rather, go with the flow…

      (I swear I didn’t make that rhyme on purpose!) ;-)

  3. marilou

    excuse me lady, but for someone not familiar with a basic rule like that, you sure DO know how to shoot interesting images! (by the way, i believe rules are just there to be broken by artists)
    looking forward to your next post!

    • guacira

      Thank you so much, Marilou! I haven’t slept all night working on a project, but your comment – and Smiler’s – made me smile really easily. I’ll do my best to keep on sending some interesting images!

  4. So I’m curious: what is it??

    • guacira

      It was the sun coming through the blinds in my office, with the rays shining onto a pillar at the corner :)

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