8 week online workshop
lesson 3
Rules of thirds & Room to move

I think the first shot of my daughter walking along the beach kind of demonstrates the room to move concept. I know that she isn’t on the far left of the photo, which may have been better, but she isn’t squashed over on the far right either and I think you can still see that she has ‘room to move’. This was one of my favourite shots from the beach. I have lightened it a bit….I’m looking forward to the photo editing component as I’m not very confident in altering the photos as I don’t want them to look unnatural or obviously tampered with (if that makes any sense). ISO200, f/6.3, 1/2500.
My daughter found a starfish at the beach and was absolutely mesmerised by it. I love this shot of her studying the starfish and I think it fits in with the rule of thirds as the eye is drawn to her eyes looking at the starfish and the starfish itself. I think in the colour version the brightness of her headband is a distraction, so I converted the shot to black and white and I must say that I really love the picture in black and white (ISO200, f/4.5, 1/160).

Emily-walking Starfish Starfish-bw

I'm a Sydney mum to 2 gorgeous girls and am pregnant with my 3rd daughter, who will join us at the end of March. I'm keen to learn more about capturing the best shots of my children and am excited to be learning how to use my camera.


  1. Well done with both of these. The first one definitely conforms to the rule of thirds. Strictly speaking the “room to move” rule would have had her on the other side walking into the picture more. But rules are open to interpretation and your interpretation of this rule is lovely. I agree that she still has room to move and the fact that the composition is a little unusual means it has added impact and drama. When we get to the lesson on “breaking the rules” I talk a lot about breaking them intentionally and with knowledge – so know the rules, know you are breaking them and break them anyway! I believe this is exactly what you’ve done here – and done it well.
    I’ll be starting to introduce some basic editing tips in the next lesson so you can start to practice the tweaks without the worry. I understand your concerns about keeping the editing natural and that is what we’ll aim for in all of the editing.
    The second one is nice too and definitely conforms the the rule of thirds. You could even have cropped just below the headband and it would still have been a nicely composed image with the eyes close to the top third. The black and white is nice but needs a little punch/contrast to make it pop – we’ll cover that soon too.

  2. I really like the first photo. I think because it is taken from behind her it makes sense to have the space behind her – where she has been. It is an image with a real story to it. And I think converting the second one to b&w really transforms it. Gorgeous!

Leave a Reply