Use the Rule of Thirds to guide placement of horizon in your photos

how to use Rule of Thirds on iphone

In a past iPhone photography tutorial, iDB detailed what is known in photography as the Rule of Thirds. This rule, while not an always-binding hard and fast rule, states the photographer should place the focal point of the image at the intersections or along the lines of a grid that divide the field of view into thirds. The easiest way to visualize this is to head into Settings > Camera and enable the toggle labeled Grid.

Rule of Thirds iphone - enable camera grid

Once this option is enabled, the viewfinder within the camera app will feature a grid overlay that divides the picture into thirds as mentioned previously. It will look something like this:

Rule of Thirds iphone

This grid is helpful in many sorts of photography situations, and one of these situations is the focus of this tutorial. When taking a photo featuring a landscape, it is often best practice to be aware of where you are placing the horizon within the frame. You should carefully consider whether to place the horizon near the upper horizontal grid line or the lower horizontal grid line.

We do this to place emphasis on either the land or the sky. If you want to draw attention toward the land within your photograph, you should place the horizon on the upper line. This gives the land the majority of the image real estate and will draw the attention of the viewer.

In the example below the primary subject is the Stadium. Therefore, I naturally place the horizon near the upper horizontal grid line and consequently give the stadium (rather than the sky) more real estate and more attention.

The inverse of this situation arises when the sky is the subject of your image. The most common example of this sort of scenario is when you are capturing a sunset. In the example below, I did the opposite of the previous example. I placed the horizon along the lower horizontal grid line in order give the sky majority of the real estate.

That is all there is to it! This is a relatively simple example of one the many uses of the Rule of Thirds, but remember that these are more suggestions than rules. Different situations require different photography approaches, and these are simply tools in your arsenal.

Do you have any photography tips you use regularly? Let us know in the comments below!