Triangles

Triangles are a magical shape in photography.  Visually there is something rather spiritual when we start playing with three points of interest.  This week we are going to explore this magical shape.

Triangles never fail to impress my visual sensibilities.  They are a magical shape.  Sacred geometry perhaps.  Simple and clean.

Triangles can form arrows.  They can lead the viewer in set directions in your work.  

They keep the viewers eyes moving in a photograph. Whenever you create a sloped line in a photograph the viewers eye will either go upwards to see where it goes or flow down it like rolling down a hill. The movement the sloped line gives in a photograph is inevitable.

Three objects form a triangle too. Thus triangles do not need to have clear sides to work in the same way.  

When I was teaching the street vendors from the big issue composition for their photography exhibition, this was the only compositional design principle I taught them.  This is because it works so beautifully.   

Simply, go forth and create compositions with triangles.  Try lots of different subjects.  Try three subjects in the same photograph.  

Post at least three different resolved photographs of different subjects using triangles. Try one with three objects, one with very clear triangles created out of lines and the third is up to you. Discuss how they move your eye around the photograph.

In this photograph at Hawkes Nest I have created numerous triangles by taking a very aggressive approach to where I have put the frame edges. How many triangles can you count in it?

In this photograph at Hawkes Nest I have created numerous triangles by taking a very aggressive approach to where I have put the frame edges. How many triangles can you count in it?

Three leaves create a triangle between each of them.  The three leaves all balance each other, and create a triangle for the viewer to explore.  The eye goes from one to the other, but not always in the same order as they would if there was four, and your eye would be forced to continue in a circle.  With three your eye can reverse direction at any time.

Three leaves create a triangle between each of them. The three leaves all balance each other, and create a triangle for the viewer to explore. The eye goes from one to the other, but not always in the same order as they would if there was four, and your eye would be forced to continue in a circle. With three your eye can reverse direction at any time.

The triangles in this composition is a bit more difficult to see.  There are three main prongs of the branches.  Each creating triangular shapes. Then there is the triangle of negative space in the lower right hand side. The triangles keep the viewers eyes moving and create a dynamic interest in a very simple subject.

The triangles in this composition is a bit more difficult to see. There are three main prongs of the branches. Each creating triangular shapes. Then there is the triangle of negative space in the lower right hand side. The triangles keep the viewers eyes moving and create a dynamic interest in a very simple subject.

The branches in this photograph are framed to create multiple triangles in my composition.  They force the viewers eye to explore the photograph, as the eye can not sit still on an angled line. The repeating triangles strengthen each other.

The branches in this photograph are framed to create multiple triangles in my composition. They force the viewers eye to explore the photograph, as the eye can not sit still on an angled line. The repeating triangles strengthen each other.