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What is the Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio in photography?

Updated: Apr 6

The Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio are closely related to the composition of a photograph. They help to determine the so-called strong points of the composition in photography. Strong points, on the other hand, give the attractiveness to the picture, they correspond to the innate perception of a human and the photos grow in popularity, because we are strictly programmed where in the first place we focus our attention on.

The Rule of Thirds

This is a principle that focuses on four key points in the photograph. Those are the points where you should put significant elements of the picture, the elements, on which you want to focus the attention of the viewer. The points I am writing about are determined by the lines, dividing the picture into thirds, vertically and horizontally. After such lines are drawn, the frame is divided into nine parts, which you can see in the photo above. If we look at photography from the perspective of composition, then the central area is the least interesting for human perception and you should place the least important elements of your photography there. Of course, each rule has its own exceptions, in the so-called square composition we place the main theme in the center of the frame, but it fills most of it.

The Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio, also sometimes called the Fibonacci Spiral, similarly to the Rule of Thirds, can be applied to every field of photography. However, this is the principle of a slightly different look at all the elements of the picture. Applying the Golden Ratio, remember that in a square composition, if you're making a portrait, you should place your eyes around the top division line. You have probably already noticed the difference here, so the eyes or the most important element in portrait photography, do not have to be in one of the strong points of the frame. Of course, remember that rigid following the rules in any situation does not lead to anything good, sometimes you can, or even need to break these rules. The most important is the conscious composition of the frame, but at the beginning of your photo adventure it would be good for you to have mastered the two fundamental principles.

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