a series of short tutorials on different compositional techniques you can use to make images with stronger impact
Artists and designers use repetition, pattern, and rhythm to unify an image, reinforce a concept, and create a sense of movement.
Repetition: Using a single, mostly identical, element repeatedly; often regularly organized but it can also be randomly placed.
Pattern: Repeated groupings of elements bringing out two layers of design: the individual elements and the pattern as a whole.
Rhythm: Using repetition and pattern in an ad-hoc way, creating movement and unifying the image through visual design elements.
Recipes for Repetition
- A small number (2-5) of largish objects
- Clearly identifiable as the same thing
- Arranged a regular or random pattern
- Look for echoes and progression to add visual interest
Recipes for Pattern
- Find a pattern: natural or man-made
- Frame the composition to highlight the pattern
often filling the frame
- Find one thing to disrupt and create interest
Recipes for Rhythm
- Look for abstract repeating elements
- Echoed lines or shapes
- Random repetitions
Artists use repetition, pattern, and rhythm as components of their own artwork in public murals and sculptures. We must be careful in photography not to simply photography other people’s art in order to find our compositions. Here are some examples where I have used Other People’s Art (OPA) but have added my own creative element.
Is Architectural Photography photographing Other People’s Art (OPA)?
Architecture is a well defined photographic genre where the photographers goal is to capture the beauty and intent of the architect and to find the subtle and poetic points of view that the architect left for the viewer.