The rule of thirds grid


In last week’s Photoshop Friday, Lisa made a before and after video.  One of the comments left was from Gretchen:  “Great tutorial! I was wondering how you set up the grid on your crop tool. Would you mind explaining how that was done? Thanks!“.  Well, Gretchen, ask and you shall receive!

Lisa has created a tutorial to show you how the rule of thirds grid works in Photoshop CS5 and earlier versions as well.  You can watch the video here and see how she uses it on the following image:



Lisa HarrisonLisa Harrison, Vermont
Click Photo School Instructor
As CM’s Photoshop expert, it’s only fitting that Lisa is the instructor for the Intro to Natural Light and Photoshop Fundamentals for Photographers workshops. With her Canon 5d mark III and various lenses, mostly primes, she enjoys lifestyle photography with bright clean processing and natural skin tones but equally loves black and whites. Living in Vermont with her husband, two children, and black lab Lucy, Lisa loves skiing and boating.

Read all photography tutorials by Lisa Harrison.


  • Rebekah says:

    So, is this where we should submit photos for the Photoshop Friday in 2 weeks? This is my youngest son on New Year's Eve. I think it would look great in black & white but I never know how to convert to B&W with impact.

  • Gretchen says:

    I was so surprised so see my name when I opened up my blog reader tonight. Thank you so much for answering my question! :)

  • Lynda says:

    I'm new to CM….I AM a mom but more importantly, I'm a "Nana" to two (soon to be 3…then 4 in June) grandchildren. I took up photography upon retiring a year ago in June (shoot with a Nikon D90….favorite lens 50mm 1.4). I don't have a business but have taken photos for several families beyond my own….kind of a "ministry". It really helps me to sharpen my skills!

    This picture was taken Christmas eve.

  • Julie says:

    Love it….thanks so much! I have been looking for help with this so I was super excited for such a great, simple tutorial! Thanks!

  • Jill says:

    This is an image where I have really struggled with her skin tones. I would love some help with this one! Thanks Lisa!

  • Kerri says:

    This is my first attempt at a composite shot of my friend's 8 day old baby. I feel like I got the composite ok, but I'm really struggling with the baby's skin tones and texture. I would SO appreciate some help with this – I only got one 'shot' with a week-old baby! :-)

  • Chelsi says:

    This is great! I noticed how easy and convient it is to crop using the rule of thirds in CS5 when I watched your video. I tried to look up how to do a similar thing in CS4 and I didn't find anything that made sense. This was perfect! Thank you!!

  • Tony Sale says:

    This is a really cool photo and although the change is subtle it looks so much more impactive following the rule of thirds crop.

  • Vanessa says:

    Thanks, this was a great explanation and tutorial! :)

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