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3. Elements of design - Project 27, real and implied circles

Circles are much less easy to find in a scene. Once found however a circular
shape will be the most compact and tight enclosure of all, imposing even
more structure on an image than would a triangle or rectangle.

These four photos are organised around circles, real as well as implied. I
have (perhaps unnecessarily) indicated the circular shape in each case.
27th Jun 2009, 15:14   | tags:,,comments (1)

3. Elements of design - Project 26, Real and implied triangles

As much as rectangles were static and formal, triangles create a sensation of activity and dynamism. They occur much more frequently and are more usable in design.
The reason triangles occur more frequently is because the bottom of the frame may act as the lower edge of a triangle shape, as may one of the sides, requiring perhaps just a diagonal line connecting one side and the bottom edge of the frame to make a triangle shape.
Perspectives too will create triangle shapes, converging lines of a railway line or looking up at a tall building will create two side of a triangle.
Any three points in a frame will also “suggest” a triangular shape in whichever direction the points may lie. These are “Implied triangles”.
In my examples of real and implied triangles the first image is of an actual triangular subject, the base of a bridge pillar. The second image is a triangular shape caused by perspective, converging towards the top of the frame. Most buildings will show this but the sharp corner of this house emphasises the apex even more. The last of the three “real” triangles is also caused by perspective but this time converging towards the bottom of the frame. I had to think about how to do this one but any perspective convergence lines when viewed from below, i.e. a bridge along its length, a set of high-voltage power-lines, or, as in this case, a suitable piece of machinery (don’t ask me what it is) will produce the inverted triangle shape.
Implied triangular shapes can easily be created in still-life exercises as in these two examples. The first implying an apex near the top of the frame, the second inverted. The rugby players in the picture also form an implied triangular shape.
The reason for using shapes in design at all is that they give structure to an image, a definable shape organises parts of a picture. Shapes have a tendency to enclose and therefore make a group of things cohere, be part of a whole and not just loosely spread about an image.
27th Jun 2009, 15:06   | tags:,,comments (2)

3. Elements of design - Project 25, Rectangles

Although the rectangle is a more complicated shape than the triangle, having
four sides and corners and not three, it seems more basic in a photograph
because it corresponds to the shape of the frame. The simplest way of
dividing the frame is with horizontal & vertical lines, giving us
rectangular shapes within that frame.

Rectangles will often be formed by man-made subjects such as buildings,
though perspective will alter these lines significantly according to
position and viewpoint. Even a slight variation will be immediately obvious
because of the right-angled edges of the picture's frame itself.

The three images I have used here to illustrate rectangles within the frame
are indeed all man-made. Care had to be taken to ensure the edges of the
rectangles were level with the edges of the frame, the spirit level was out
during cropping.

Associations with rectangles are formal, enclosing, precise and static.
27th Jun 2009, 14:10   | tags:,,comments (0)

3. Elements of design - Project 24, Shapes

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A shape is both an outline and an enclosure. The way in which the shape
appears is dependent on the subject and the lighting.

Shapes can be regular or irregular, identifiable as a simple geometric
outline or without actually falling into any particular category. The more
regular the shape the stronger the part it plays in the composition.

Contrast is nearly always what makes a shape stand out, whether it be a
contrast along a line of colour or of light.

. In my image of the Angel of the North no texture or colour is
visible in the statue or the people below, showing the scale of the thing.
The shape of the statue, silhouetted against the dusk sky is the dominant
element in the picture.

. The second image is a strong triangular shape created by the green
of the tree-top in contrast with the blue sky. Texture and colour are what
give us the shape in this image.

There are basically three types of regular shape; rectangles, Triangles and
circles. (other regular shapes are sub-divisions or combinations of these
27th Jun 2009, 14:00   | tags:,,comments (0)

3. Elements of design - Project 23 (III), Implied Lines

Part three

These images are examples of an "eye-line" and lines that point.

. In the first, an example of an "eye-line", Anja is looking in the
direction of Marilyn in the poster and Marilyn is looking right back along
that line.

. In the second, also an "eye-line" image, the Tai Chi practitioner
is directing the viewer's eye straight out ahead, emphasising the space he
has found for himself out on the heath.

. Placing the bride in the middle of this formal garden has ensured
that she is the centre of attention. The lines of the trimmed hedging
leading the eye unmistakably to the subject.
27th Jun 2009, 13:48   | tags:,,comments (0)

3. Elements of design - Project 23 (II), Implied Lines

Part two

In these three images of my own I have indicated the implied lines by using
red arrows. The dominant direction (where applicable) has been indicated
with a larger red arrow.
27th Jun 2009, 13:46   | tags:,,comments (0)

3. Elements of design - Project 23 (I), Implied Lines

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Part one

In the two images provided in the course material the implied Lines are as
indicated in the (scanned) images below with a red arrow. The dominant
direction has been indicated with a larger arrow.

In the Bull fighting image the toreador's outstretched right arm and cape
extend and exaggerate the natural direction the bull is moving in.

In Schuh's thresher image the farmer is moving one way but the horses are in
the middle of a sharp turn to the left and this direction clearly dominates
the frame.
27th Jun 2009, 13:43   | tags:,,comments (0)

3. Elements of design - Project 22, Curves

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Curves are the last kind of continuous line. Like diagonals they give a
sense of movement and direction in an image. Because they pull the eye they
are useful in planned composition. Curves give a feeling of smoothness,
grace, elegance to an image.

My first image, the curved mirrors, also contains good examples of
converging diagonals, the perspective being strengthened by the distorting
effect of the mirrors.

The green bottles image also contains strong horizontal and diagonal lines.

The view of the London Eye from below gives a good sense of movement.

The head-on, symmetrical view of the London Eye has a certain elegance and
14th Jun 2009, 14:12   | tags:,,comments (0)