Back to Basics – Rule of Thirds Grid

After I recorded and started production on this tutorial my mind began to remember that perhaps I had covered this subject before. I reviewed the subjects I have posted over at the Tutorial Resource Center and did not see it covered there, so figure I am not repeating some tutorial I have already done. Having said that, this is kind of a return to the basics.

The tutorial came about actually from reading a question on the NAPP forums – a fellow NAPP member was asking about whether PS has a similar Rule of Thirds Grid like the one in Lightroom. Since I’ve used both, I did know the feature he was talking about, and also knew that an identical feature is not available in PS – but a close workaround is. So – another tutorial is born! Before I get started with the PS tutorial though – it may help to show what the movable grid looks like in Lightroom:

LR Rule of Thirds Grid

What happens in LR is that when you grab the image, the grid moves around with your mouse like a flash-based square and allows you to preview your compositional crop before you crop. PS doesn’t have the benefits of the flash based features like this (for the most part), so it won’t work exactly the same way (you have to actually perform the crop before the ROT grid will show the new composition. That’s a program limitation though and cannot be compensated for (at least not to my knowledge.)

Anyway, one final thing before the tutorial…a couple of things have come up that require my immediate attention including some plumbing for the house, a dentist visit, and a few client print orders. With that in mind, the Thursday Thoughts subject may have to be postponed for a no-blog day. I will know better after the dentist visit tomorrow. Regardless, enough of the anticipatory text – here’s the weekly tutorial (Flash link first, QT version second, as always…enjoy and happy shooting all!)

Rule of Thirds Grid in Photoshop


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3 comments for “Back to Basics – Rule of Thirds Grid

  1. May 29, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Great post! You might be interested in a post I did a while back on this. It’s at I included some PS actions for making the grids that your readers may find useful.


  2. May 29, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Hey Gene,
    Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts. I’ll take a look at your post when I get home – (excessive blogging at work generates frowns and finger shaking!).

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