The "Rule of Thirds" (or the Golden Ratio as it sometimes called) has fascinated mathematicians and academics for centuries, but none, (that I can find), has yet to offer a reasoned explanation as to why humans see/find paintings and photographs with "it" more appealing than without "it".

For example, if you look-up the Rule of Thirds on Wikipedia you're told that it is called phi and it has a Greek symbol; in base 10 it's 1.618033 and in binary it's 1.100111; and there's lots more maths and hyperbole too. But nowhere does it tell me why applying the Rule makes images look better, if not a whole lot better!

Take it from me, the Rule of Thirds does matter and in this Tutorial, without offering any scientific reasoning, I will demonstrate why.

I took three photos of a single tree in a field not from the Studio Lavalette at Easter time, so the ground was bare, save for the tractor-raked lime-flecked the first image on the left for more....

Date first published - 10 February 2012
Guide to the Rule of Thirds - Step 1Guide to the Rule of Thirds - Step 2Guide to the Rule of Thirds - Step 3Guide to the Rule of Thirds - Step 4Guide to the Rule of Thirds - Step 5Guide to the Rule of Thirds - Step 6