Architectural Design – from City to Countryside


Rule of Thirds is a universal design principle and the most basic rule of artistic composition.

The following ten photos illustrate one thirds/two thirds compositional proportioning.


Built in bench seat - Bruce's Sunrise Carpentry

One of my deck designs on Vancouver Island



Kentuck Knob designed by Frank Lloyd Wright - bruce witzel photo

Kentuck Knob in Pennsylvania designed by Frank Lloyd Wright



Downtown Tucson Arizona - bruce witzel photo

Downtown Tucson, Arizona



At Taliesin East designed by Frank Lloyd Wright - bruce witzel photo

Taliesin East in Wisconsin designed by Frank Lloyd Wright



Montreal metro station - bruce witzel photo 

Montreal Metro Station



Portland, Oregon (2) - bruce witzel photo

Portland, Oregon and the Willamette River



Cape Disappointment Lighthouse on Washington State coast  - Bruce Wtizel

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse on the Northwest Pacific Coast



Downtown Tucson (2) - bruce witel photo

Downtown Tucson, Arizona



Front deck of a cabin overlooking the ocean - bruce witzel photo

Sunshine Coast in British Columbia



Downtown Montreal at sunrise - Bruce Witzel photo

Downtown Montreal, Quebec


“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV.


  1. These are wonderful photos. I don’t actually know the 1/3-2/3 rule, but I can see the design strength in the photos you’re shared and I will be interested in looking back to some of my favorite photographs to critique composition. I would love to spend some time on that gorgeous Vancouver deck. The view is incredible!

    • Thanks for the comments last week Debra. The rule of thirds in photography really works. In regards to the lovely deck, it is located in the tiny community of Winter Harbour on northern Vancouver Island and often times you can see seals frolicking or whales in the harbour. I love building decks from our local red cedar… people appreciate the outdoor space to be closer to nature.

    • Rule of thirds is a nice contrast to using symmetry. I often tweak photos to the rule of thirds via cropping. I sure notice photos don’t adhere to the rule… especially horizons lines at the center.

      I’ve noticed you have an eye for formations of nature, like ice crystals and blue snow, etc. Incredible!! These are great examples of breaking the rule effectively. Glad you liked the architectural examples Annette.

  2. Nicely done! I’m curious about the story behind Cape Disappointment. Reminds me of a post I did about Embarrass, WI on the Embarrass River. (Turns out that’s French for log-jam. Not as great a story as I had made up myself!)

    • Cape Disappointment is at the mouth of the Columbia River and if I recall correctly, it had to do with the end of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Forget the actual details except I think there wasn’t food and supplies at the Cape and they suffered quite badly.

  3. Lovely photography. I just think of placing the focal point slightly off centre , which is nearly the same as1/3 2/3 principle. I shall have a go at that and see what happens. Thanks so much for explaining things clearly for us.

    • Your welcome. The rule of thirds really does work. To compose slightly off center is good too because what the exact focal point is ambiguous at times. Don’t forget to try the one third/two third rule with strong horizontal lines, as well as with focal points. When I find a photo seems “off” I make a copy and then fine tune it by cropping. Good luck.

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed these! The vivid color suggests you take them into Photoshop. Am looking forward to exploring your site further when I can catch up on some sleep… Lovely presentation. Rule of thirds… Yes! Important concept! Lately, I’ve been doing still life indoors where I can control the light, and placing things to the extreme right, so icon may display un-obscured on the right of the screen. Once again, you have a keen eye for detail, composition, depth and color rendition. I guess that about covers it :O)

    • Thank you for the kind comment. With colour I usually saturate photos ever so slightly. I occasionally lower the contrast to pull out the shadows. I heard a podcast about how computers and digital have changed how people perceive of colour. I use the basic window photo gallery to edit with. I have also tried a few other programs, but when my previous laptop died those programs died with them, Nice to hear from you spartacus…. all the best

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