Category Archives: Shapes

Shapes

Rectangles & Circles

Rectangles – In geometric terms, these are less simple than a triangle, having four side and corners, but in a photograph they can seem more basic simply because they relate to the shape of the picture frame. When a rectangle in the scene or subject fits within the frame very closely it almost disappears from the attention.Rectangles have a special place in an art form that has rectangular images as the end-result. The simplest way of dividing the frame is horizontally and vertically as this automatically creates rectangles.

CirclesIf triangles and rectangles were relatively easy to find, circles are much less so, and depend to a great extent on real circular objects. This limits their usefulness in photography. Nevertheless, a circular shape, when you can find it, is the tightest, most compact and enclosing of any. In other words, it imposes even more structure on the image than would a triangle or a rectangle.

• The Art Of Photography  (OCA course book), Part 2, Shapes – Rectangles & Circles, p.93-94

Whilst not a required exercise, there is a requirement to look for photographs that make bold use of rectangle and circles, which I have chosen to do from within my own photo collection.

Rectangles:

ISO160, 55mm, f/8, 1/125sec

ISO160, 55mm, f/8, 1/125sec – Apartment block, Bangkok

ISO1000, 180mm, f/5.6, 1/2000 - London Bus

ISO1000, 180mm, f/5.6, 1/2000 – London Bus

ISO1000, 105mm, f5.6, 1/250sec - mirror reflection

ISO1000, 105mm, f5.6, 1/250sec – Mirror reflection, Kathmandu

ISOISO800, 18mm, f/6.3, 1/30sec - Buddhist Temple, Hue, Vietnam

ISOISO800, 18mm, f/6.3, 1/30sec – Buddhist temple, Hue, Vietnam

Circles:

ISO3200, 50mm, f/1.8, 1/250sec - Child stool and candle

ISO3200, 50mm, f/1.8, 1/250sec – Child stool and candle

ISO400, 34mm, f/4.2, 1/125sec - Cannondale SL5 MTB

ISO400, 34mm, f/4.2, 1/125sec – Cannondale SL5 MTB

ISO320, 50mm, f/1.8, 1/2000 - Moondance Cafe signage, Pokhara, Nepal

ISO320, 50mm, f/1.8, 1/2000 – Moondance Cafe signage, Pokhara, Nepal

ISO2000, 50mm, f/1.8, 1/2000sec - Home-made pie :-)

ISO2000, 50mm, f/1.8, 1/2000sec – Home-made pie 🙂

I found that it was easier to find or spot images containing circular subjects or objects than rectangular ones. I guess that’s because circular shapes appeared more immediately obvious than rectangular, which are such a common structure as to go almost unnoticed generally speaking.

Exercise – Real and Implied Triangles

Graphically triangles occur more frequently than any other shape, and they are very useable in design. In construction they are the simplest shape of all, and this has much to do with their abundance. In the same way lines have certain associations, so do specific shapes – or rather, they can associations in some kinds of picture – and triangles, because they have at least two diagonals, tend to create a sensation of activity and dynamism.

• The Art Of Photography  (OCA course book), Part 2, Shapes – Triangles, p.88

Requirement:

Produce two sets of triangular compositions, one using “real” triangles, the other using “implied” triangles.

Part 1 – Real:

  • a) Find a subject which is itself triangular
  • b) Make a triangle by perspective converging towards the top of the frame
  • c) Make an inverted triangle also by perspective, converging towards the bottom of the frame

Part 2 – Implied

  • a) Make a still-life arrangement of five or six objects to produce a triangle with the apex at the top.
  • b) Make a still-life arrangement of five or six objects to produce a triangle with the apex at the bottom.
  • c) Arrange three people in a group picture in such a way that either their faces or lines of their bodies makes a triangle.

Part 1

a) Triangle section of bicycle frame.

ISO400, 105mm, f/7.1, 1/500sec - Cannondale SL5

ISO400, 105mm, f/7.1, 1/500sec – Cannondale SL5 MTB

b) Triangle by perspective, converging at the top

ISO400, 18mm, f/5.6, 1/2500sec

ISO400, 18mm, f/5.6, 1/2500sec – Hindu temple at Patan, Kathmandu

c) Triangle by perspective, converging at the bottom

ISO1250, 50mm, f/8, 1/30sec

ISO1250, 50mm, f/8, 1/30sec

I found it difficult to create something suitable for this particular image. I just could not find something that gave the required perspective in which the implied triangle’s apex converged at the bottom until a unique perspective and a willing subject helped point the way.

Part 2

a) Still-life arrangement of five or six objects in a triangle, with apex at top

ISO400, 62mm, f/5.6, 1/30sec

ISO400, 62mm, f/5.6, 1/30sec – Indian ocean sea shells

b) Still-life arrangement of five or six objects in a traingle, with apex at bottom

ISO450, 58mm, f/5.6, 1/30sec

ISO450, 58mm, f/5.6, 1/30sec – camera parts

I think I may have taken this too literally, simply arranging found objects as apparently required. I’m not sure if some kind of still-life arrangement would have been better, but would probably have taken quite some time to arrange suitably.

c) Three people arranged to form a triangle

>>>photo to be inserted<<<