Shapes are defined by the contrast of different light or color areas. They exist in nature and we see these high contrast areas defined as lines. We see shapes visually and as they are emphasized by lines, they can have very complex effects in the composition. They can be somewhat difficult to work with because they are often somewhat expected.

Shapes can be geometric and / or abstract. Abstract forms can often have physiological associations with the viewer at different levels of depth. Most obvious, they tend to be the identification of objects. A silhouette of a chair can be identified as a chair because it is an object that almost everyone can identify. The same applies to any other topic or form of familiarity. Shapes that are abstracted by blur, shadow, distance or scale, have a more dramatic effect because they can touch the viewer at a more unconscious level. In other words, they may not be the first thing the viewer sees or recognizes at first sight. This can often create interest and a stronger visual impact.

For photographers, the use of form in composition is often overlooked. Because photography does not have the same craftsmanship requirement as drawing and painting, photographers do not have to learn to make the forms. But as we mentioned in the line article , the technique that photographers use to communicate shape is indeed a skill.



Cropping can be done with the entire composition or by obstructing the subject by other elements of a composition. Cropping refers to the information that you are willing to give the viewer. Our brains will absorb missing information that we cannot see. Choosing which elements of your topic you want to reveal can arouse more interest than showing the viewer too much. Missing information can create mystery or uncertainty. It can also affect the intimacy (or lack of) between the subject and the viewer.


Scaling is important to draw attention or bring a sense of size to something that is not obvious. If you photograph really large sunflowers, the viewer cannot see the difference between large or small sunflowers without anything else in the photo to indicate this. This second object becomes dependent on the image because it tells us that something is extremely large or small in nature.

Scale can also be made using perspective. Objects closer to the point of view are larger in scale than the same object far away. Perspective can be used to make a mistake, regardless of scale, because photos exist in a two-dimensional space.


Fragmentation is when a topic is split into more than one part. This can easily be done by placing something in front of the object. It can also be done by physically splitting the object. In both cases, a sense of relationship and symmetry can be created.


The use of focus or blur in photography is a characteristic of the medium that can be used with great effect. By focusing on topics, this draws attention and its importance. Blurring or blurring subjects begins to apply a layer of abstraction. The degree of blur is at the discretion of the photographer - a little blur can create a sense of abstraction, nostalgia or even unconscious representation. Extreme blurring can change shapes to normal textures. Careful use of focus and / or depth of field can arouse a large amount of interest in what you are communicating visually.


Somewhat similar to focus, lighting can also emphasize a subject that is brightly lit and has less attention for subjects \ n that are illuminated above and below. This effect may look like blurring and blurring, but objects will retain their contour definition as long as they are separate from the background.


Metaphors are a difficult technique, but probably the most influential for composition and visual communication. A metaphor is simply making an object look like something else, either replaced or implied. There are countless examples of large floral works with a sensual, human quality for them. The use of other techniques can create metaphors here when subjects go to extremes in terms of perspective, scale, alignment, etc. Look at the image of Abelardo Morell, "The Shadow of a House," where he casts the shadow of a house used mixed with his chalk drawings for children and placement in the driveway as a metaphor for not only a real house, but even a feeling of a playhouse in the children's world. There is also a wonderful dreamlike, fantasy quality for this image.

Implicit shape

As a line, shapes can be implied without actually being present. This is done by playing with a negative space and using other objects in the image. Again we will look at Abelardo Morell below with his "self-portrait", simply made by the contours of the crooked pages of a book that creates the contours of his own profile. It is not in the picture, but a shape has been created that represents this.


For the "shape" section, the assignment will be to create images in a studio-type environment with simple objects. Choose two equal and simple objects with which you can explore the outlined techniques. These must be organic in nature, such as 2 pieces of fruit, 2 flowers or something similar. I propose this because organic forms are a little easier to work with when you go to things like metaphors.

Go through every technique here and create a visual composition that plays with every concept. Think about it and try to communicate something outside of your comfort zone. Be patient - this is hard to do the first time. If you don't get results that you like, wait a few days and do it again. Try replacing your items. The most important thing is that you have to think about each of these techniques. Come up with ideas and write them down. Do this away from the camera if possible. Learning techniques is just as much about thinking through as just shooting away and trying different things. Your best results come as a combination of thinking and trying time and time again.



Selected messages for you

The messages are partly about the same subject, maybe the golden link is there for you. We have already selected them for you so that you can easily read more about this subject.