‘Rule Of Thirds’ Or ‘The Phi Grid’- Photographic Compositions.

Every individual who has some basic ideas about the fundamentals of photography will be aware with the concept of the ‘Rule Of Thirds’. It simply employs a technique which involves the incorporation of human psychology and visual balance, thereby enhancing the quality of a picture compositionally. Grid lines divide the frame into three sections, the thumb rule being that the content to be captured should coincide with the intersecting lines of the first rectangle. This ensures that focus is brought to the composition of the picture, making it a success with photographers!

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However, it’s been long disputed whether this technique is effective or should be replaced by that employing the ‘Golden Ratio’- a unique ratio that seems to be followed by most, if not all elements of nature. It was discovered by dividing successive numbers of the Fibonacci Series, the ratio converging to a number of 1.618. Early references to the same can be obtained in the works of Da Vinci, notably, ‘The Vitruvian Man’- revolutionising Mathematics of the Modern Era.

Application In Photography:

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The ‘Phi Grid’

The spiral that is generated via the golden ratio is simply juxtaposed over the photograph, creating a grid commonly known as the ‘Phi Grid’. The image to be showcased should overlap with the intersecting lines of the first section of this grid, thereby creating a strong visual composition.

The arguments have been that since this spiral is obtained via the golden ratio, one that is hardwired in humans as a sense of aesthetics and beauty, is a better method to form picture compositions. In landscape photography, this method seems to be highly effective due to the fact that it tends to make the photograph look more natural, it’s counterpart tending to impart a more obvious and one-dimensional balance to the composition.

With a slight adjustment to the ‘Rule Of Thirds’, one can obtain the ‘Phi Grid’ and vice versa, which is why the use of either of these methods is simply based on discretion and the level of exposure that one has with either of these techniques. If you have an opinion of your own, do voice it out.

Also, for a more exhaustive and complete article on the rule of thirds, do visit the link that I have provided below:


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