Summary – Light creates tone & color, the basic building blocks of visual design. Tones & color, in turn, give rise to visual design’s primary elements – lines, shapes, textures & perspective. Previous posts in this series looked at lines. Now – on to shapes. This is part 1 of 3 – a short introduction.
Lines & shapes are arguably
Visual design’s most important elements
At least in the sense of being the most used
Shapes are common to almost every image
It’s the photographer’s job to recognize them
And – to use them effectively.
Shapes are produced by tones & colors created by light
The primary shapes – Circles, Equilateral Triangles, & Squares
Don’t exist often in outdoor photography
More likely in things like product imagery
However, ovals and polygons
The so-called secondary shapes, are everywhere
Most shapes encountered in photography are
Secondary shapes or
Composites/distortions of the primary & secondary
Shapes are purely two-dimensional
They change with the light
For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at any moment. (Claude Monet)
and also – Our position & choice of lens, for example
In addition to one object with multiple possible shapes
The above illustrates an important point –
You must forget about the names (skyscraper) of objects
And think of them as SHAPES
The objects don’t change, but their shapes can
Don’t think “There’s a tree”, but
“There’s a circle/oval/triangle….”
….try to forget what object you have before you – a tree, a house, a field or whatever. Merely think, here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow…. (Claude Monet)
To the degree that a single object offers multiple shapes
It’s up to the photographer to recognize the possibilities
And choose the shape that best tells
Her intended story
Almost no objects have a single shape
Regardless of position & perspective
Only a sphere comes to mind
From one perspective cylinders & balls
All look like circles
If it’s important to the “story”
Whether it’s a ball, a bottle or a barrel
You need more than just the circle perspective
Make your shapes fit your story
Coming up in part two
More details & explanations
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