Visual Design – In the Beginning….

Summary – Light creates tone & color, the basic building blocks of visual design. Tones & color, in turn, give rise to visual design’s secondary elementslines, shapes, textures & perspective. To use visual design, we must understand its primary & secondary elements.

Visual Design is the basis for making good compositions

Learn it and forget the so-called “rules” like

The Rule-of-Thirds

Visual design is concerned with

The use & placement in a design space of

Line, shapes, textures and perspective

Which result from light’s creation of tone & color



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Lines & Shapes – with a bit of rhythm


Visual Design is key to making good compositions

Without good compositions, your images

Are, umm, well, not good

Apart from whatever help

Those composition grid lines in a viewfinder may be

The camera hasn’t been built (nor will it ever be) that

Has an “Auto-Compose” menu option

(Ditto post-processing programs)

Composition is all on you, the photographer

This is the start of a several part series

I give pop-quizzes, so pay attention 😉


This series will cover the what, how & why of –

1. Tones & colors

2. Shapes, lines, textures & perspective which are

Derived from  tones & colors and

These are the primary elements of visual design

3. Simplicity & Dynamics which are the

Basic principles of visual design and are achieved  by

Five secondary elements of visual design:

Balance, dominance, proportion, rhythm, distortion


The main emphasis will be on

1. Recognizing primary visual design elements in our scene

2. Selection, sizing and placement of those elements

In accordance with the principles of visual design

The material covered in this series is based on

Photography and the Art of Seeing by Freeman Patterson

Starting next week – Lines _________________________________




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8 thoughts on “Visual Design – In the Beginning….

    • Thanks. Just several Slinky’s. They make a nice subject for experimenting with visual design & with abstracts – which is where this series is headed..

    • If I don’t do at least one visual design post a week, please rattle my cage. I started this once before, a year or two ago, and never finished.

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