Rule of Thirds Pro for Photoshop Elements


Requirements Works On
Photoshop Elements Version 7 or later
Actions for other versions of Elements
Websized and High-resolution Images

These actions will help you analyze your image and crop it to conform to the Rule of Thirds or the Golden Mean.

As you are learning composition, the so-called "Rule" of Thirds and the Golden Mean can be helpful. I prefer to use them as guidelines, rather than a rule, but I do find them useful when making compositional decisions.

The general idea of the Rule of Thirds and Golden Mean is that you get pleasing compositions when you place your main compositional elements at certain places in your photo. The Rule of Thirds Pro and Golden Mean actions mark your image with a grid, and let you adjust the grid and crop your image so that your main compositional elements fall at the intersections of the grid lines.

If you just want to analyze your images without cropping, we have some free actions that will draw the grids for you.

Our Image

As an example, let's see how the actions will help us crop this image to conform to the Rule of Thirds.
Original Image

Using the Rule of Thirds Action

Partway through the Rule of Thirds Action, we see that according to the grid, the tree is "too far to the right," and the action stops to allow us to adjust the grid by dragging the little square handles at the corners of the grid.

In this case, we'd adjust the grid so that the tree falls at the intersection at the upper right.
The grid show us that the tree is not at an intersection

After Cropping and Removing the Grid

When the action ends, we've cropped the image according to our adjusted grid, so that it conforms to the Rule of Thirds, and we've removed the grid.
After the Rule of Thirds and removing the grid

Using the Golden Mean Action

The Golden Mean Action works just like the Rule of Thirds action, but the grid is in different proportions.

This is what the image looks like, cropped according to the Golden Mean, before removing the grid.
after cropping using the Golden Mean grid

For Bolder Grids

For larger images, or if you just want bolder grid lines, use the actions designed for print-size images. You can recognize them by their icons, which show larger, bolder grids.
Icons for bolder grids