Elements of Composition Pt IV – Patterns

If you really spend the time to look at things around you, you’d find patterns in places where it would seem almost impossible for it to exist in. Patterns can exist not only in nature but also in man-made objects.

Photo by Robert Katzki

To put it simply, patterns are shapes, objects, or colours that are repeated in order. They can be repeated either in a regular or irregular arrangement. These arrangements provide texture to your image.

Regular patterns exist when the shapes, lines or colours repeat itself almost uniformly. Irregular patterns are more abstract and sporadic in nature. Knowing which angle to capture them from can really show them more prominently.

Patterns are visually attractive and represent harmony in your subject. With the help of contrasting colours and intricate patterns, they’re almost always hypnotising to look at.

Adding them to the composition of your photo can result in a striking shot. Capturing an eye-catching pattern on the blandest subject can definitely improve the composition of your photograph.

If you remember, we talked about having two or more compositions in a photo in our previous post. The presence of symmetry is also a distinctive element in this composition.

As patterns are completely subjective, they are versatile subjects which you can use to your advantage.

Photo by Guillaume Bolduc

The best thing about patterns is that there’s no bad pattern in existence. What’s important is that you have to try and fill your frame with it. This increases the effect and drama of your shot, allowing your viewer’s eyes to not get distracted by anything else.

By doing so, you’re really appreciating the relationship between the shapes and lines that the patterns are made of. To further appreciate their beauty in the things around us, view #patternphotography for more inspiration.

Due to its indefinite existence, it is hard to tell you exactly where to find them around you.

You’ll just have to keep your eyes open! A trick to really capture to the beauty of pattern is to put thought into the angle you’re capturing it from. We talked about four creative camera angles that you can read about here.

A close-up angle is the best angle for your to really fill up every corner of your frame to display all the details of the pattern. This allows for a more larger-scale display, the image appears blown into the screen.

From a high-angle view, they can appear at a smaller-scale, this makes your detail more intricate and miniature. Even if your subject is actually big, you can get them to appear uniformly small.

Photo by Christian Chen

So bear in mind which angle is most flattering for the pattern.

Strict shapes and lines are more pleasing to look at when shot straight. Whereas scattered patterns are better when shot at a unique angle.

Most importantly, never stop experimenting with your camera! It is a tool and practice does makes perfect.

Good luck.

Featured Image by Erol Ahmed

Read our Elements of Composition Pt III – Symmetry.

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