The "rule" of thirds is one of the rules of thumb that people use to compose photographs. It's used when your photo has an obvious focal point, like someone's face or the bird in this picture:
The idea is that you mentally divide up the frame of the photo you're about to take into thirds, both vertically and horizontally. The divisions are represented by the black lines in the above image. Then you point the camera so that the photo you take has your focal point at one of the intersections of those lines. For example, the bird in the above picture is on the upper-right intersection.
Here's another photo with the subject matter (the "birthday cake") in the upper right third:
By taking a picture with your subject slightly off-center like this it can often make your photo more dynamic looking, and sometimes give it a sense of movement or action that wouldn't be there otherwise.
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