Sequoia Lecture Hall
Evergreen Valley College
San Jose, CA
Kitchell CEM

Today's architectural photograph is the Sequoia Lecture Hall at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose shot in 2002 for Kitchell CEM.

(click image above for larger)

Compositional Guides or “Rules” are historically proven tools we use to help give our images structure and balance. When I speak of compositional rules I am speaking more along the lines of a guide like the measurements on a ruler than a restrictive regulation. These rules have been in use for thousands of years. Michelangelo, DaVinci and Rembrandt used these rules and if they’re good enough for them, they're good enough for us.

To work with compositional rules you have to visualize divisions on your image frame, above is an example of the “Rule of Thirds”which is the easiest compositional rule to work with, but there are others. Today I will focus on the “rule of thirds.” In my presentation to NKBA on Wednesday March 21, 2012 I will be explaining the use of triangular and spiral rules in depth as well.

When working with this rule we imagine two horizontal lines equally dividing the frame into three parts and two vertical lines doing the same. The most basic application of this rule is to have the foreground fill the lower third. The mid-ground fill the middle third and the sky, or ceiling to fill the top third.  Following this formula will give you a technically well balanced image whether you’re shooting an interior, exterior, party snapshot or landscape.