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The way subjects connect to each other in a photo forms shapes that draw the eye from subject to subject.

If the photo composition lacks shape, then the photo becomes too busy and awkward to appreciate.

Some shapes are more effective than others in providing an interesting frame for your photo. For instance, squares and circles tend to be too symmetrical and leave too much empty space around the subjects. The shapes that work best for composition are triangles and diamonds.

Triangles can be formed a few different ways:

If your subject is already triangular or diamond-shaped (like a pyramid), the viewer’s eye will automatically focus on that shape.

Groups of people can be posed as an irregular triangle. This helps keep people from creating a shapeless blob in a portrait; and an irregular (slanted) triangle makes sure that no two pairs of eyes will lie on the same horizontal plane.

Different landmarks can be one of three points that form the triangle. For instance, a person at the forefront of the photo is the first point, a boat far behind the person forms the second point, and an island on the other side of the frame forms the third point. As long as no other objects enter the frame, the eye can easily follow the photo from the person, to the boat, to the island.


The above advice on shape in photography from this website:

http://www.photographyicon.com/sha pe/


Collect other people’s images you like.

Show off your knowledge.

Show off your use of shape.

S T U D E N T   A D V I C E

It may be obvious to many people that the categories of Line, Form and Shape have the capacity to overlap and certainly line and shape are very difficult sometimes to separate.

These are categories, as I have said before, that have been inherited from the traditional discourses of Fine Art and none the worse for that and in that they help to pin down linguistically the acts of observation can thus can be very useful. I append below a slide show of my photographs where shape plays a large part in the success or otherwise of the images.

However I would say that it rare in photography for one single element alone to be responsible for the image’s success.

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