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There are many elements of design, which include shape, line, pattern and texture.  When combined, we experience form within a two-dimensional media.  Each of these can make or break a photograph.  I consider them equally important, but I look at the element of form as the most important element of art.  

Forms are defined by their lines, shapes, and volume.  Lines define the subject and determine its shape.  Volume, from front to back, top to bottom and side to side, along with complimenting light is what makes a photo three-dimensional.

Photographing form can be capturing an overall contour of a three-dimensional object—say, a flower--or composing an image from an unusual perspective and capturing its shape in an abstract way.

The above helpful definition from,

“Discovering Form in Photography”

by Juergen Roth

http://www.apogeephoto.com/june2011/jr oth62011.shtml


The picture above offers us several instances of form, circles obviously, but a sense of the dimensionality of that form in the distorted forms of the building reflected therein. The human form is twice represented, the far figure as flat silhouette the figure pushing the globe more three dimensionally rendered through side light and shading and ,of course, reflection.

The picture above is a combination of large geometric forms in reflecting dark glass and human forms offering a sense of scale.Because the large windows inhabit different planes, dimensionality becomes a problem for the eye. Which lines protrude and which retreat? The larger than life photograph covering a whole shop front further confuses our sense of form and space

This photograph made in The Ashmolean in Oxford is again an exercise in human and statuary form engaging in a multi dimensional space. Interestingly the seated couple at the bottom right seem to have taken on the frozen qualities of the Greek statues in the gallery.

This photograph’s success or failure lies in the juxtaposition of two dimensional graffiti and the three dimensionality of the walking girl with the mobile. Strictly speaking both are two dimensional and that ,of course, is the point.

The large blue area with indentations is also important to the photograph’s coherence.

Photography, since its earliest days, has been interested in natural forms, or Forms in Nature as this common genre was often called.This interest persists to this day I suspect more large peppers are bought to be photographed than to be eaten.The poppy,above, is my contribution to the genre.


The slide gallery above shows how the ducks, apart from one slide, have been taken from their normal watery habitat and isolated against a black background to empathise their form. However while form is clearly important in the success of these photographs other factors like pattern, colour and texture clearly play their part.