The Shape of Things

To master photographic composition, one must learn to recognize and establish relationships between shapes. Also known as forms; shapes fill the space within the image frame and are very important in defining a composition; Ian Plant explains

Our world contains a seemingly never-ending array of shapes (such as lines, curves, triangles, squares, spirals, rectangles, and circles) and near shapes (such as quasi-lines, quasi-curves, quasi-triangles, and so on), all the way to completely amorphous blobs (which usually aren’t of much use). Learning how to recognize, identify, and work with all of these shapes and, more critically, to find a way to make shapes work together is fundamentally important to mastering composition.

This is especially true when working with a chaotic scene. In order to visually simplify the image (thus making it something that viewers can relate to), one must find a single bold, eye-catching visual element which serves to automatically draw attention, keeping the…

Read this and many more articles in High Definition inside Issue 47 of Landscape Photography Magazine.

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About Author


Ian Plant is a full time professional nature photographer, writer, and adventurer. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, books and calendars, and he is a frequent contributor to Popular Photography and Outdoor Photographer magazines, among others.

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