When setting up that perfect shot we’ve all heard about the age-old rule of thirds, but this video by The Light Club suggests there’s an even more important composition rule we may have been ignoring; The Middle Line.
The Rule of Thirds has taught us that adding tension and interest to our images is done by placing points of interest slightly off center to allow our viewer’s eyes to interact with our images in a natural way. This is done by dividing your image into three sections horizontally and then three sections vertically, essentially you’ll be left with a grid of nine blocks dividing up your image. The theory is that if you place points of interest in the intersections or along the intersecting lines your image instantly becomes more balanced and, as mentioned above allows for natural interaction with the image.
But if the above is true, how then does the idea of the middle line affect our images?
The Light Club does a brilliant job of condensing a few examples and a rather simple explanation of The Middle Line Rule into four easy to digest minutes. Ever wonder why the Mona Lisa’s gaze seems to follow you around the room or why Caravaggio’s work has stood the test of time? The answer’s simple, both artists were well versed in the effects of the middle line.
It’s not just the painting masters who have utilised this rule. Photographers from Steve McCurry to Annie Liebowitz are in the know and have used The Middle Line rule to create some of the most iconic photographs this century.
How do you feel about The Middle Line rule? Will it be something you’ll take into consideration when setting up your next shot or are you a die-hard believer in the Rule of Thirds?
If you enjoyed The Light Club’s first video and are wanting more be sure to give them some love and subscribe to their YouTube channel here.