Elements of Design in Photography

I have always been envious of those people in the world who are great photographers. Many of my friends love taking pictures, and it had been through my exposure to their love of photography that has made me appreciate it as an art. In fact, photography really is a form of design. It incorporates the six elements of design – line, shape, form, texture, and color – in order to turn a simple subject into a striking photo. All of these design elements have a huge impact on a photo and its success. Whether it is intentional or not by the photographer, every photo has at least one element of design in it (http://photoinf.com/General/Robert_Berdan/Composition_and_the_Elements_of_Visual_Design.htm).

Line in Design

Out of the six elements of design, line is the strongest and most influential. Without line, none of the other five elements of design can exist in a photograph. Lines lead the viewer’s eyes towards the point of interest, and they also portray emotional feeling through their unique thicknesses and directions. For example, a jagged line might be perceived as forceful or threatening, whereas a curved line might be perceived as soothing & relaxing.

Shape in Design

The second most fundamental element of design is shape. Silhouettes are the strongest of all shapes, because they are in contrast with their surroundings and catch the viewers’ attention easily. Shape is the principal element of identification.

Texture in Design

Texture is an influential element of design in photography because it is the most capable of moving one’s deep emotions. Texture is captured and accentuated with the help of different angles of lighting. With the correct use of texture, pictures can come alive and almost appear three dimensional.

Color in Design

Colors and how they are arranged can either make or break a photograph. Color is characterized by different hues, values, and and saturation. Vibrant colors, such as red and yellowe, are energetic and fun whereas other colors, such as blue and purple, are more soothing and mellow. Color in a photograph can be used in order to help an object of interest stand out.

Pattern in Design

Lastly, patterns and form are two design elements that add dimension to photographs. Life is full of patterns; therefore, so too are photographs. On the other hand, form consists of a three-dimensional shape, accentuated with shadows and side lighting in order to give it a better sensual understanding of its meaning and message.¬† Making use of all of these elements of design can help a photographer create eye-catching and dramatic pictures for the world’s enjoyment (http://photo.tutsplus.com/tutorials/photography-fundamentals/6-elements-of-design-for-striking-photographs/).

In addition to looking at the elements of design in photography, I came across this video recently and thought that it would fit nicely into this post. This dad has been taking pictures of his twelve year old daughter since she was born. He put all the photographs together into a movie, documenting her growing up. I thought this was really neat and was a great application for technology and photography.


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