Shapes and Patterns in Landscapes

    It is always fun to challenge the eye. It helps us to become better photographers while also appreciating composition and art even more. A fun yet-simple idea is to think about and use shapes and patterns in your photography!

Triangles

    Triangles are powerful shapes in nature and landscape photography. They also happen to be some of the easiest to find as they include mountains, converging lines, and intersecting lines in nature. With a careful eye you can use triangles to create compelling compositions of negative and positive space balancing each other out. For good reason, these are my favorite shapes to photograph and you can see them throughout my work.

Circles

Trees on Trees-2 3.JPG

    Another common shape in landscape photography is a circle. It doesn’t necessarily have to be perfectly round or completed in the frame. A rounded shape can help to curl or loop the eye towards the subject. Good examples of this in nature include boulders and tree stumps. Circles are a strong element, though, and if not placed properly can cause an image to feel slightly off balance compositionally.

Lines

    These shapes can be dynamic or very static. It depends heavily on what direction they flow. A horizontal line creates structure and layers in the image, but it can also cut the photo in half if placed in a harsh location (like a horizon in the center). Vertical lines are more exciting and make an image have more depth from front to back. The hybrid lines that are diagonals are extremely dynamic and encourage the eye to shift from side to side exploring the edges of the frame.

 diagonal

diagonal

 Horizontal Horizon

Horizontal Horizon

 Verticals

Verticals

    Having a line be a bit rounded can be nice too. Placing an s-curve in the frame creates a visual journey through an image. The more pronounced a curve is in an image the heavier its visual weight becomes. It is best to have a subject at the end of a good s-curve unless the curviness is the subject of an image.

 A dramatic s-curve.

A dramatic s-curve.

 A more subtle s-curve

A more subtle s-curve

 The curving trees are the subject of this image and hold it well.

The curving trees are the subject of this image and hold it well.