Understanding Composition: Using Patterns and Repetition

March 21, 2011 · 0 comments

in Documentary,Equipment,Travel,Tutorials

Patterns surround us wherever we go, both in nature or man-made. The trick is just learning how to see them, but once you get an eye for spotting them, you’ll be amazed by what you see and wonder why you never noticed them, or incorporated them into your photography before.

Photographing patterns can make striking images, and by introducing a subject or focal point, you can break the pattern to add additional interest.

There are two techniques for photographing patterns and repetition. Emphasize or Break.

Emphasizing Patterns

Zoom in to fill your frame with just about any repeated occurrence of objects or shapes. This not only emphasizes the pattern, but also gives the impression of quantity.

Breaking Patterns

You may notice a pattern, but with an interruption in the flow of the pattern. You might find these naturally, or sometimes you may need to tweak the scene a little and cheat it!

Broken repetition may include a contrasting colour, shape or texture that breaks the pattern, an object missing in the pattern, an object positioned in a manner than breaks the pattern, or a totally different object among a group of identical objects.

When photographing a broken pattern, pay attention to where you place the broken pattern in your frame, and consider the Rule of Thirds as an option. Since the broken pattern will be the focal point of your photograph, make sure that part is in sharp focus.


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