What are the 7 Elements of Art?

The 7 Elements of Art (or 7C) are the basic principles that underpin all creative arts, including photography. They provide a framework for understanding and using art in general and photography in particular.

In this question we will explore each of the 7 elements in turn.

The 7 Elements of Art

The 7 Elements of Art are:

  • Context
  • Conceptualization
  • Composition
  • Creativity
  • Imagination
  • Intuition
  • Objectivity

When you use one of the following images in your answer, then you need to consider how each element applies to that picture.

The Context of an image

  • Where did the photographer find the inspiration for the photograph? For example, did they go to a specific location, or did they find it while exploring somewhere new? Was it created from something they saw in the real world, such as a building, or were the elements of the picture created from ideas and imagination?
  • How much do you know about the history of this location?
  • What is your personal connection to the location?
  • Does the image inspire you in some way?
  • If you had to name the artist who made the picture, who would you name?

The Conceptualization of an image

  • What is the Conceptualization?
  • How do you interpret the meaning of this picture?
  • Why does this image resonate with you in some way?
  • What do you think the photographer was trying to convey?
  • Are there any other meanings hidden within the picture?
  • Is it the photographer’s interpretation of the subject?
  • What is the relationship between the subject and the photographer?
  • What is the context of the subject?
  • Is the subject being shown in some way?
  • Can you see anything unusual about the subject?
  • Is the composition of the picture pleasing to look at?
  • How would you describe the picture?
  • What do you think the purpose of the picture is?

The Composition of the image

  • How would you describe the picture?
  • What are the colors in the image?
  • Do the colors complement each other?
  • Do the colors make a contrast?
  • Does the image work together as a whole?
  • Are the different areas of the image linked by a common theme?
  • Do the lines in the image follow the same pattern as the shapes in the image?
  • Is the subject in the picture balanced?
  • Does the photographer have any particular point of view?

The Creativity of an image

  • What kind of creativity can be seen in this picture?
  • Is the photographer being creative in the way they composed the picture?
  • Does the photographer have a particular style?
  • How do the lines and shapes in the picture communicate?
  • Does the picture contain a lot of detail?
  • Are there any unique and original features in the picture?
  • Does the photographer use unconventional techniques to achieve the final result?

The Imagination of an image

  • Has the photographer used their imagination to create this picture?
  • What kind of vision do you see in this picture?
  • Do you feel inspired by the image?
  • Are there any strange things in the picture?
  • What is the mood of the picture?
  • Can you imagine what the surroundings might have been like?
  • Does the photograph tell a story?
  • Is the picture realistic or imaginary?
  • What is the photographer’s imagination taking them away to?
  • Is the photographer showing a new perspective?
  • What is the purpose of the picture?

The Intuition of an image

  • How did the photographer come to capture the moment?
  • Was it planned or a spontaneous decision?
  • What is the point of view?
  • Are there any unusual things in the picture?
  • How was the image created?

The Objectivity of the picture

  • What is the subject of the photograph?
  • Does the image show what you think it shows?
  • How can you tell the object is real?
  • What do you notice about the surroundings?
  • What is the background of the image?
  • Is the image interesting or boring?
  • Can you distinguish what the photographer is trying to show in the picture?
  • Does the picture look fake?
  • Does it look like a staged image?
  • Does the photographer have a particular style?
  • What is the purpose of the picture?
  • How does the picture make you feel?