Project 52: Rule of Thirds

Rule of thirds is the theme this week in the Pet Photography Project 52.


Before I get into this week’s theme, let me give you an update on the three Project 52s that I’m attempting in 2018. I successfully posted to two of the three.

The third one’s theme was posted on Monday, January 1, and no information was given as to when it was due. I figured I at least had to Sunday, but they closed submissions on Friday, January 5. C’est la vie!

Now, on to this week’s theme …

Rule of Thirds

You may remember I briefly covered the rule of thirds before and some other composition tips. Composition, you may remember, basically is how you set up the image to draw the viewer’s eye through the photo.

With the rule of thirds, you imagine the frame divided into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, resembling a tic-tac-toe grid.


A photo of a country road overlaid with a rule-of-thirds gridb



Your “goal” with the rule of thirds is to place the focal part of the image where you want to draw the viewer’s eye at or near one of the intersections. When I say “focal point” in terms of composition, I don’t mean the point where you focused the camera, although it can be that. I mean the part of the photo you want to be the “goal” of someone looking at the photo.

Even better is if you can somehow compose the frame where there are objects at diagonally opposite intersections. Diagonal lines are “dynamic,” but I’m getting off-topic.

Two birds …

If I am going to successfully complete two Project 52s (I still plan to complete the third, but now I won’t have a complete year), I know that, whenever possible, I will need to take one photo that fits both (or all) themes for the week. My themes for this week were “rule of thirds”, which you already knew, and “all about angles.”

I immediately thought of a photo of one of my dogs but taken from at or below their level. I also thought this would be a good photo to feature Chloe, my Yorkie-poo.

Some background on Chloe

Chloe is our fearless dog. There’s a saying something like “all dogs think they’re a German shepherd.” That is definitely true about Chloe, although it may be better to say she thinks she’s a cat.

She loves to get to the highest point where ever she is. So, if there’s not a person in the room, you will likely find her lying on the back of a chair.

We’ve also been woken in the middle of the night by her barking for help to get down from someplace she can’t figure out how to get down from. Usually, this is our kitchen table when she decided to do some late night housekeeping and “sweep up” any crumbs we may have missed clearing the table.

Once, she had gotten to the top of the slide on my daughter’s swingset. That’s right—she climbed a ladder! And a tall one like that. It was probably 6 feet from the ground to the top of the slide.

The plan

So I envisioned something “regal” and low-key, picturing her as she surveyed her empire from upon high. To add to the majesty of the photo, I knew I wanted her to be the only thing illuminated in the frame.

I took a speedlight, put a grid on it, and aimed it toward a point on the back of a chair in our den. I then placed Chloe there. She was comfortable there. It was a place she had been many times before, so she lay on the chair.

The execution


Filling the frame with Chloe lying on top of a chair back.


As with last week, you can view how other photographers participating in the Project interpreted “rule of thirds.” Here’s the photo from Darlene with Pant the Town Pet Photography serving MA and NH. Click through and browse all the great photos!


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