Shapes as Part of a Design
I am talking about organic shapes here but the theory works with man-made shapes as well. Repetition of shapes can unify a composition, for example, series of clouds, a group of buildings, bushes, rocks. Repetition would be boring if it was all the same but repetition with variety makes a picture interesting.
Here is a photo of a tree. Just one tree in the foreground but the upward turn of the branches, which are repeated in themselves, are also repeated in the clouds. The bushes in the distance give balance to the overall picture.
The repetition of round shapes of the snow helps to pull this shot of bushes together.The snow amongst the busy lines gives the viewer’s eye a place to rest while travelling throughout the picture plane.
The next photo demonstrates a strong figure/ground relationship or the positive/negative space in your photo. The positive space would be the object. The negative space is what shape or shapes are around it. Both are important and help balance each other.
And a photo of repeated shapes again. There is repetition of the shapes yet variety so it does not become boring. There are a lot of triangles in the water, sky and mountain combined with the round shapes in the clouds and the little island.
Next time you go out just sit and look at a scene and look at the shapes. Look at whether they are singular, or repeated, large or small. See how the shapes work with other shapes and other elements of design, such as lines. Look at the big picture and look at the small intimate places as well.You might see things a bit differently.Now pick up your camera.