gridlines for composition

On the fifth day of Christmas…

I’m switching five gold rings for four intersecting lines that help me to monitor my composition. The rule of thirds is a common approach to composing pictures and having gridlines in the viewfinder certainly is a good reminder of this.

Viewfinder gridlines aid composition

My EOS 5D Mark III, like many other EOS cameras, has the option to display a pattern of gridlines in the viewfinder. I’ve pretty much always left this on and it shows; I compose my pictures using those lines.

gridlines for composition in the viewfinder

Viewfinder gridlines

Gridlines in playback

However it is also possible to have the gridlines displayed as an overlay over your pictures in playback mode as shown on the picture at the top of this page.

Playback gridlines to check composition

Superimposed gridlines for playback

Playback gridlines

Playback can be set to add gridlines

Live View & Movies too

gridlines for composition in Live View & movies

Live View with gridlines

Even Live View shooters and movie makers can use the grid lines to help them line up their photos and movies. Having a wonky horizon line looks quite poor in movies and there is no real way to rotate the movie a little bit without making some compromise in the quality – so shoot it right.

The cool guy in the shades heading up the post is my good mate and great food photographer, Jonathan Thompson. It’s a shot I took on Brighton Beach back in the summer when we both joined a photo walk lead by top bloke Glyn Dewis.

See you tomorrow for another in the 12 tips for Christmas…

All I want for Christmas is you…

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This is one of a series of twelve posts, inspired by the popular Christmas song The Twelve Days of Christmas. I’m giving all my blog readers a free tip for each of the twelve days.

About the twelve days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas start with Christmas Day and ends with the eve of Epiphany on January 5 th. The Twelve Days of Christmas dates back to English origins in the sixteenth century although the music is reputed to be French. The first publication date for The Twelve Days of Christmas (The 12 Days of Christmas) was 1780.

source: 12 days of Christmas

About the author

Full-time photo tutor and photographer. I love to share my knowledge and skills to make photos, videos and teach others. I write books and articles for photo magazines and I always have at least one Speedlite flash in my camera bag