Particularly when I do nature photography I depend, perhaps too much, on using the Rule of Thirds. This is an example of a good use of the rule of thirds.
One of the common photo mistakes made in composition is bulls eye shooting and splitting the frame in half with the horizon. It is tempting to place the sun in the very middle of your composition.
This is especially true in photos of a sunset when the horizon goes from one edge of the photograph to the other such as is the case with beach photography.
Placing the horizon in the middle of your photo often cuts your image in half. Instead, I placed the horizon at about the imaginary 1/3 horizontal line and placed the sun at the imaginary horizontal and vertical intersection of 1/3 lines.
This rule of thirds example photo was a unique situation in that I was able to shoot across the incoming waves. The distant shoreline also softens up the horizon just a little to diminish the division of the photo into two parts.
This photo was taken from a small rock jetty that faces southwest. I shot over 100 photos in perhaps a 20 minute time frame as the sun was setting. I was looking for just the right shape and reflections for the waves.
I borrowed this sunset photo from the www.CanonCameraGeek.com website.
Boy, I love digital photography. In the days of shooting film I would have spent a lot of money processing and printing proofs. For the technically curious, I shot this with a Canon 5D Mark III Camera, set at ISO1250, f6.3 at 1/2500 second. The lens was the Canon 70-200mm f2.8.The Canon 5D Mark III does a remarkable job of keeping digital noise down at very high ISO Settings
Here is another rule of thirds example from a quick trip to the zoo. This peacock was strutting around proudly, so I could resist grabbing a photo of this brilliantly colored bird.
I composed the photo so that his head was approximately placed at one of intersecting lines of the imaginary one third vertical and horizontal lines. Coming in close in this composition made his green feathers fill the background and isolate his brilliant, blue neck.
Have a blast!