Photography Composition: Shapes

As photographers, we all spend a lot of time looking through our viewfinders, trying to find the right frame, lining up this and that and trying to find the best composition possible.  Most the time, this entails looking at the shapes of things, their lines, how they bend and turn and how they overlap with other shapes that are in our frame.  Most the time, the shapes we take photos of are fairly complex, they have many angles and are layered upon many other shapes but if you turned each layer into a silhouette, we would typically be able to tell what each shape is.  Every now and then, we find very geometrical, even symmetrical shapes like circles, triangles and squares while taking photos.  Using all these various kinds of shapes and paying attention to how they are layered upon each other and how they all fit in our frame can really help us become better photographers and get more creative with our images.

When taking photos, I am always looking for shapes that will fit within my frame and think of how I can use those shapes, maybe to add a sort of frame inside my frame or how they can fill my frame to make it more interesting.  Maybe I can use that shape as the center focal point of my frame and frame everything else around it.  By using these shapes, you can really focus your viewers eyes and make a more pleasing image to look at.

Now one thing you will notice as you start focusing on shapes in your frame is that having less in your frame is typically more.  By keeping it somewhat minimal, people can focus more on the specific thing you are photographing.  Also, you don’t always have to have the shape in focus, sometimes, you can use it as a background or foreground texture to then frame your subject in.  All in all, the more you look for shapes while taking photos, the more you will find things to focus on and things to frame your subjects with.

Continue to lesson 24: Create Depth with Layering