elements of design and photography

Tonight I went to the first week of a photography class I’m taking at Sawtooth School for Visual Art. This might fit under the “right brain” category, but I guess it pertains more to the technical side of photography.

The goal of the presentation was to discuss the elements of design. Below are some design elements discussed and tidbits of the presentation that I found valuable:

  • contrast: The eye is drawn to areas of high contrast. Contrast may refer to tonal or color contrast.
  • form
  • rhythm
  • dominance
  • color: Complementary colors together tend to make vibrant images while analogous colors tend to add harmony to an image. Cool colors recent while warm colors jump out when we view them.
  • texture: Texture in elements changes drastically as distance from the lens increases.
  • line: Lines are straight or curved. Horizontal lines in a photo may represent stability or act as an anchor. Vertical lines in a a photo may represent strength.
  • balance
  • shape: Most photos contain the basic shapes of a circle, triangle, and square.
  • pattern
  • perspective
  • proportion: Different proportions may communicate different messages.

These design elements constantly come up in photography. It’s always important to think about what message you are trying to convey when you capture a single photograph & these elements of design are tools to communicate that message.

repetition in nature for photography
An example of repetition in nature.

You Might Also Like