underwater Photo Course :: (6) Composition :: Rule of Thirds
Rule of Thirds
U/W Photo Course
Learn u/w photography the easy way!
The classical solution is to divide the frame horizontally and vertically
into thirds and place the subject on the resulting intersection of those lines.
This is known as the rule of thirds and, as far as it
goes, the theory holds up - yet many pictures that do work don't comply with it.
Many underwater subjects don't suit this treatment. Remember, compositional
rules are made to be broken.
Here we see a land shot (with and without the guide lines) that has subject elements
conforming to the rule of thirds. The positioning does not need to be precise.
The rule of thirds works quite well for smaller subjects
but you need to be a little subtler with subjects that fill the frame. For
example, with a fish head portrait you might place an eye on one of these
Of course you can only generalize when talking about the
rule of thirds. The diversity of shape, size and content of underwater subjects
precludes any detailed formulae. The only one thing you can say for certain is
that the worst place to situate most subjects is in the middle (it is
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