Geometric Figures in Photography


For many years artists have been using geometric figures to compose their photographs.  There is something in the human brain that makes geometric figures attractive.  If you look around, you will see that Nature is flooded with lines, squares, triangles, rectangles, circles and what have you.  Have you noticed them in your house?  Take a look.

When composing an image, the addition of geometric patterns or basic shapes such as lines, circles, squares and triangles can add structure and organization within that photograph. It can help the photographer convey an idea or feeling to the viewer. The overall purpose of this is simple, to keep the viewers eye within the frame of the image. The viewer may perceive only a “pleasing image” without ever knowing or asking why.

There is a psychology behind the use of geometric patters in art and how the human mind perceives each of these shapes.  Geometric shapes have been used in all types of art throughout the centuries and photography is no exception. The human mind perceives squares and rectangles to suggest conformity. Circles  suggest  completeness, triangles represent tension and lines represent movement.  Be aware there are variations of these shapes such as vertical versus horizontal lines versus diagonal with each representing something different but the basic idea is the same.  The goal being to engage the viewer.

Having said this, take a look at this leaf with a repeated pattern of parallel white lines over and over again.  All the leaves of the plant has the same pattern.  The slanted parallel lines caught the attention of my eyes and decided to capture them with my camera.

Another construct that is closely related to these geometic shapes are fractals.  A fractal is a natural phenomenon or a mathematical set that exhibits a repeating pattern that displays at every scale. It is also known as expanding symmetry or evolving symmetry.  But this is a story for another day.

Take a look at the parallel lines on this leaf of a plant in our garden.  Here we go.

planta4
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

Good Day!

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