Like many, Guy Bourdin loves a good bottom. But rather than putting this one slap bang in the middle of the frame, here he’s added to the eccentricity of the shot by positioning the subject off-centre. Even so, the image is still nicely balanced, or, to put it another way, it doesn’t look ‘wrong’
That’s because Bourdin had used the ‘rule of thirds’. This means splitting your frame into three sections – either horizontally or vertically – and positioning your focal point in line with this imaginary grid.
If you don’t want to centre your subject, the rule of thirds helps maintain balance.
Many photographers will spit at the mere sight of the rule of thirds because it feels too calculated. That said, they’re all secretly at it. Just use it as a rough guideline and be careful not to position your subjects too near the edge of the frame, or only slightly off-centre, as this can look a little clumsy.