Photoshop and the Rule of Thirds

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit

If you are a photographer and want to use the so-called Rule of Thirds in your compositions, here’s a neat trick to show it in Photoshop:

Setting it up

  1. Open Edit –> Preferences –> Guides, Grid and Slices
  2. Edit Gridline every100 percent
  3. Subdivisions3
  4. Click OK

That’s it!

Now to show or hide the grid, just press CTRL+’ or select View –> Show –> Grid


Rule of thirds
Image with visible grid

What is this Rule of Thirds anyway?

Just in case you never heard of this “rule”, let me give you some points:

Beginners in photography tend to frame everything dead in the center. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. There are many rules that can be used to achieve a more pleasing composition and this is one of them.

The Rule of Thirds states that you can achieve better composition balance if you place the interesting features of your photos along horizontal and/or vertical lines that divide your picture in thirds, or at the intersection points.

To illustrate my point, have a look at the pictures below:

The Rule of Thirds
Horizon and tower aligned to the lines
The Rule of Thirds
Eye at the intersection

As with any photography “rule”, you shouldn’t get obsessed with it. Not everything has to be framed according to it. Understand it, learn it, try it – then break it!

Armand Niculescu

Armand Niculescu

As the Senior Project manager, Armand is one of the rare kind of developers that can do both design and programming with equal skill. This, coupled with a solid background and many years of experience, enables him to see the big picture and plan for the small details.

2 Responses

Comments are closed.