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Cardigan Rule of Thirds Blog 1 of 1

Project 52 Week 2: Rule of Thirds

Welcome to week 2 of our Professional Pet Photography Blog Circle.  This week’s topic is about the “tic tac toe grid” that one can display on their DSLR camera known as the “Rule of Thirds”.  Rules in photography?   Yes, there are many!  Of course, rules are made to be broken (I’m an Aquarius – we’re unconventional rule breakers!) , but the “Rule of Thirds” is something I gravitate towards a lot in my photography.  It states that you put your main subject that you are photographing on one of the thirds of your frame, not the middle.  Why do this?  According to David Duchemin in his book, “The Visual Toolbox“, he mentions  “placing it in the middle is static. Symmetrical.  Potentially boring.”  When we place our subject on a horizontal third of the frame we now have two thirds of negative space, demonstrating balance, and making things much more interesting.

The following is a grid displaying the “rule of thirds”.  Placement of your subject is visually most appealing when placed on the intersecting lines where the dots are located.


Rule of Thirds


For this post I didn’t head out into our slushy, sloppy, melting snow mess to obtain new images.  What i decided to do is choose a recent photos session, go through the images, and see how much I actually pay attention to this rule during my sessions.  I found that I use it quite a bit, especially in my favorite images.

Meet gorgeous Hound Mix puppy, Cardigan.  I met up with Cardigan and her lovely mom on a chilly morning in November at “The Headlands” on the coast in Rockport, MA.  We had an amazing sunrise that morning – the colors were stunning!  I decided that I need to do many more sunrise sessions!  It’s worth the few extra cups of coffee in the AM!

The first image, notice that Cardigan is placed in the top left third of the image.  The negative space to the right adds creativity and draws your eye to the direction she’s looking.   If she was placed directly in the center, would you wonder what she might be looking at?  Do you think the composition would work if she was smack dab in the middle?


Cardigan 29 1 of 1


The next image shows the beautiful downtown of Rockport, MA in the background.  The sun was rising to the right and to the left displayed these amazing pink and purple hues. Notice Cardigan is placed in the right third of the frame, her eyes right around the intersection of where the lines would be on a grid.


Cardigan Rule of Thirds Blog 1 of 1


The next photo is a silhouette image with the Rule of Thirds placing Cardigan on the lower right of the grid.


Silhouette image, rule of thirds


If you are in the New England area, be sure to make a stop off of interstate 128 North to visit this adorable little coastal town!  I hope to do more sessions here in the near future!  If you are new to photography, start paying attention to the “rule of thirds” – you can set it up right in your camera settings to help you out!

Thanks for stopping by!  Please click on the link at the end of each blog to follow along and see some work by amazing professional pet photographer’s around the world!  Next up is Elaine with I Got The Shot Photography, serving Northeastern PA and surrounding areas.  Have a great weekend!


36 thoughts on “Project 52 Week 2: Rule of Thirds”

  1. I love her name! Gorgeous use of the rule of thirds this week with the lovely Cardigan. Love the pink tones throughout your images as well!

    1. Thanks, Linda! Isn’t “Cardigan” a great name? I love it! And those colors will make me wake up early on any day!

    1. Thanks, Kelly! I did have other silhouettes with nothing in the background and I almost wasn’t going to try this … but it turned out to be my favorite of the silhouettes- appreciate it!

      1. I’m going to try them this way if I see an opportunity. I’m always looking for empty spots for them and you just showed me that it doesn’t always have to be an empty field! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Tim! I had others without the “brush” in the background but I kind of liked the “effect” it gave 🙂

  2. All three images are really good representations of the rule of thirds. You had some really nice backgrounds in all of them that let the doggies stand out. Nice work.

  3. I loved your examples and images, Darlene. I do think the first photo is my favorite, but it was hard to choose just one. 🙂 I think we got our grid from the same place.

  4. This is such a cute dog!! I love the silhouette….I need to do more of those, I don’t think I’ve ever done one with a dog (or cat) but I have found out that “Sunshine State – Florida” has a TON of cloudy, no sunshine days…

    1. Thank you, Linda! I love doing silhouettes but have to drive a little since I live in the woods. This was a beautiful coastal location! And we do think of Florida to have sunshine ever day!!!

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