Table of Contents
Shape and Form
Shape and form are fundamental to photography composition. They help us to understand our world and express what we want to say. In this section, we will look at ways of making the most of shape and form in photography.
Photography is a way of seeing.
The shapes and forms we see in our surroundings are a reflection of the way light affects our eyes. The same shapes appear differently at different times of the day. They are also affected by things such as weather conditions and changes in temperature. When we take photographs, our brain and eye must respond quickly to the changing aspects of light, shape and form, and then, using complex processes of memory and logic, we put them together to create the image.
Shapes and forms are made up of lines and spaces, which are called “contours”. A contour is the edge of something. For example, the line where the roof meets the walls is a contour.
It’s important to notice shapes and forms that are hidden from view, so that you can capture the full complexity of what you are looking at. When you compose your photograph, keep your mind open to the potential of unexpected shapes and forms to add interest and visual energy to the photo.
It’s helpful to break down the shape and form of what you are photographing.
In nature, the shapes and forms of plants, trees, animals, buildings, and landscapes are complex and dynamic. Our view is often limited, so it is important to use our imagination to look for details of interest. This can help you to understand how light and shadows affect your view and the structure of the scene.
Photographs of objects can be divided into two main types:
- Objects that are seen against a background
- Objects that are seen in their natural environment
Consider the size and position of your camera and lens.
When you take a photograph, your camera and lens are in the way of the light coming into your viewfinder, and this means the shape and form of the object being photographed will not be as you would expect.
If you are taking a landscape photograph, try moving your camera closer to the scene, or move closer to the object itself.
When taking a close-up photograph of an object, make sure the depth of field is not too wide. The narrow depth of field will result in the object being sharp, but not the background.
Consider the weather conditions.
It’s important to note that the weather has a direct effect on the shapes and forms of objects.
Rain can make everything look blurry and soft. It may also cause clouds to rise above the horizon and make a sky appear bluer than it really is.
Clouds, mist and fog can create interesting effects, as they absorb light, leaving shapes and forms behind.
In the winter, snow and ice can add a beautiful sparkle to the world.
In the summer, water and heat can change the shape of plants and flowers, causing them to curve upwards.
You may wish to consider whether the light is changing, as this will change the shape and form of the object you are photographing.
In addition, shadows are often created by the position of the sun. Look for areas that are lighter or darker than other parts of the picture.
A great way to add a sense of movement and energy to a photograph is to use a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second. This will allow you to blur the background, giving a sense of the energy of the object being photographed.
When you are photographing people, it’s important to make sure that they are not in a setting that will cause them to become indistinct. A street can be very busy and it’s important to make sure people are not too close to each other, so that they do not merge together.
Avoiding reflections and glare
A common problem is reflections, which occur when a surface of glass or water reflects the light coming into your viewfinder. This is especially noticeable in reflections of light from buildings, water, and boats. Reflections can be a problem when you are photographing people, especially if you are shooting them face-on. It’s possible to eliminate the effects of reflections by placing your camera or lens on a raised surface. However, if you are photographing a boat, then you may be forced to use a low angle.
A similar problem to reflections is glare, which occurs when the light coming into the camera or lens is bright enough to reflect directly onto the surface being photographed. This can be a particular problem when photographing the sun and when photographing water.
The solution to these problems is to turn off the flash or set the flash to a slow mode.
When you are using the flash, make sure it is aimed high and at an angle so that it does not direct the light directly onto your subject. This will mean the light will be softer and more diffused.
The camera’s auto focus will normally be able to deal with reflections. However, if the camera is unable to find the right focus, you can change the point of focus by pressing the button on the back of the camera. You can also adjust the amount of light you are using by pressing the zoom lever.
Best Tips to Take The Best Photos using Great Composition
Photography composition is all about creating pleasing compositions by making judicious choices about where and how the elements are placed in the frame. To create a composition that is appealing, and which communicates effectively, you must pay attention to a range of details, including the shapes and forms of objects in the scene.
In this section we look at the ways in which you can use shape and form in your photographic composition. You will find some basic principles for working with shapes, followed by exercises to develop your skills.
– The shape of an object is one of the most important features to consider when deciding how to place it in a photograph. Shapes can communicate information about the position of the object in space, as well as its size and orientation.
– Try to work from the center outwards, starting with the main subject, then adding secondary subjects that complement the main subject.
– Avoid placing elements too close together or too far apart.
– Use the rule of thirds to ensure your composition is balanced.
A basic shape can be anything that has an outline. Shapes are useful in photography for several reasons, including the following:
- To indicate size.
- To give direction and create movement.
- To divide a composition into areas of interest.
- To imply perspective.
- To indicate a part of the environment.
- To create a sense of atmosphere.
- When working with shapes, think about the following:
- The size, color and texture of the object.
- The relationship between the object and other objects.
- How the shape of the object is changing within the image.
- How the shape of the object relates to the background.
- How the shape of the object relates to the shape of the camera.
Shape and Form is the term for what a photo appears to be. As a photographer, you might be interested in a particular subject or location and how you can capture this through your lens. You may be inspired by something you see and want to create a composition with that in mind. This can be achieved by shooting with the subject in focus, out of focus or moving towards you. There are also other factors such as background, camera position, and lighting that will all play a part in creating an image.