Video Production

Get to Know the Rule of Thirds in Videography

Learn how to create visually appealing and balanced shots with the Rule of Thirds. Elevate the quality of your videos and captivate your audience. Start creating captivating videos now!

Ryan Diyantara
July 7, 2023
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Composition is a fundamental aspect of visual storytelling, and videography is no exception. The Rule of Thirds is a widely recognized principle that helps videographers and filmmakers create visually appealing and balanced shots. Understanding and applying the Rule of Thirds can greatly enhance the quality and impact of your videos. In this article, we will delve into what the Rule of Thirds is, how it works, and how you can effectively use it to elevate your videography skills.

Understanding the Rule of Thirds in Videography

The rule of thirds is a compositional guideline aimed at achieving visual balance and dynamism. Specifically, the rule suggests that key elements should be positioned approximately one-third into the frame. It provides gridlines as a helpful tool.

The concept is straightforward. As a videographer, when faced with a scene, you should place important elements along the gridlines, preferably at the intersections of two gridlines (These intersections, known as power points, further enhance the composition).

For example, if you are capturing a sunset over a mountain, you might position the horizon along the lower horizontal gridline and ensure that the main mountain peak aligns with a power point. Does that make sense?

The rule of thirds is not a strict rule but rather a useful guideline. Nonetheless, it is widely employed in professional settings such as movies, TV shows, and commercials to achieve well-composed visuals. In other words, strict adherence to the rule of thirds is not necessary, but incorporating it into your shooting can significantly enhance your footage.

Ideally, strive to achieve the desired composition during the shooting process to maintain resolution in post-production. However, if you are shooting at high resolutions and exporting at lower resolutions or if pixel-perfect quality is not a top priority, you can always adjust your footage to align with the rule of thirds after shooting.

Why is the Rule of Thirds Important?

You might be curious about the significance of the rule of thirds. What makes this practice of dividing a frame into thirds so important? How does it affect the appeal of an image?

These are excellent questions! The Rule of Thirds plays a vital role in film because it contributes to a visually pleasing and well-balanced composition. Placing images off-center, either to the left, right, top, or bottom, helps create a softer and more inviting image. By doing so, you not only utilize the entire frame by considering each quadrant individually but also provide the viewer with a sense of relief or variety.

Benefits of the Rule of Thirds in Videography

Enhanced Visual Composition

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By placing key elements along the gridlines or at the intersection points, the Rule of Thirds creates a balanced and visually pleasing composition. It adds depth, interest, and visual flow to your shots, resulting in more engaging videos.

Improved Subject Placement

Placing your main subjects off-center using the Rule of Thirds adds dynamism and draws attention to them. It prevents subjects from being too centered, creating a more visually interesting and dynamic shot.

Increased Visual Balance

The Rule of Thirds helps achieve a sense of balance in your shots by distributing elements across the frame. This balance creates a more aesthetically pleasing and harmonious composition for viewers.

Guided Viewer Attention

Placing key elements along the gridlines or at the power points helps guide the viewer's gaze within the frame. It leads the viewer's eyes to the focal points and creates a more engaging visual narrative.

Effective Use of Negative Space

The Rule of Thirds allows for the inclusion of negative space, which is the empty or less occupied area in the frame. Negative space can add emphasis, context, and breathing room to your shots, enhancing the overall visual impact.

Also read: Event Video Production: 5 Things to Consider and Why It’s Important for Your Business

Adaptability Across Various Shot Types

Whether you're capturing landscapes, interviews, action sequences, or close-ups, the Rule of Thirds can be applied to various shot types. It provides a versatile framework for composing visually compelling shots in different videography scenarios.

Professional-Looking Videos

rule of thirds

Applying the Rule of Thirds in your videography demonstrates an understanding of composition principles and can elevate the overall quality of your videos. It gives your footage a polished and professional look, enhancing its visual appeal.

Practical Application for Rule of Thirds

Placement of Key Subjects

When framing a shot, consider placing your main subject along one of the vertical lines, either on the left or right third of the frame. This placement can help create a sense of balance and guide the viewer's attention.

Horizon Placement

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In landscape shots, the Rule of Thirds can be applied to position the horizon line along either the top or bottom horizontal line, depending on the elements you want to emphasize, such as the sky or foreground. Avoid placing the horizon directly in the center, as it may result in a static and less compelling composition.

Moving Subjects

When capturing moving subjects, such as people or vehicles, position them along one of the vertical or horizontal lines to give them a sense of direction and movement within the frame. This adds dynamism and visual interest to your shots.

Multiple Points of Interest

In scenes with multiple subjects or important elements, consider placing each one along the grid lines or at the intersection points. This allows you to create a balanced composition and draw attention to each element separately.

Framing Interviews

During interviews or conversations, position the subject's eyes along the upper horizontal line, keeping them within the upper third of the frame. This placement ensures a comfortable viewing experience and allows for potential graphics or captions to be placed in the lower portion of the frame.

Breaking the Rule of Thirds

Like any rule, there are exceptions, and the rule of thirds is no different. While the rule of thirds is a technique that can enhance the visual composition of a shot, there are instances where it may not be suitable.

One such example is when capturing the entire frame is necessary to showcase the beauty of the subject. For instance, photographing a sunset casting vibrant colors across a sky filled with beautiful clouds or capturing the symmetrical reflection of the sky on calm water. In these cases, following the rule of thirds may not be appropriate, and that is perfectly acceptable.

These rules are primarily intended to assist in achieving excellent composition, but when they do not serve the purpose of a particular shot, it is completely acceptable to disregard them. Ultimately, exercising common sense is crucial when applying the rule of thirds. Trust your artistic intuition and perspective to determine whether the visual composition will genuinely benefit from its application.


The Rule of Thirds is a powerful tool in the videographer's arsenal for creating visually engaging and balanced shots. By adhering to this guideline, you can add depth, interest, and a sense of harmony to your videos. As with any artistic principle, practice and experimentation are key to mastering the Rule of Thirds and using it effectively to enhance your videography skills. So, grab your camera, apply the Rule of Thirds, and watch your videos come alive with visually beautiful compositions.

Elevate Your Video Production with Get Camera Crew

Unlock the secrets of compelling videography composition with the Rule of Thirds at Get Camera Crew! Enhance your visual storytelling skills and create visually stunning shots with this essential technique. Our expert team will apply the Rule of Thirds to enhance composition, create dynamic visuals, and engage viewers. Contact Get Camera Crew today, and let us help you unleash the potential to elevate your video production!

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