The only "rule" seems to be that the more regular the shape the stronger an element it is within a composition.
Real and Implied Triangles
Exercise - 6 photographs
This exercise involves producing 2 sets of triangular compositions in images. One using "real" triangles the other implied triangles.
- Real - find a subject that is triangular (it can be a detail of something larger)
- Make a triangle by perspective, converging towards the top of the frame.
|Use of a Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens from a low viewpoint exaggerates perspective to form a triangle.|
- Make an inverted triangle, also by perspective.
|Low viewpoint and use of Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens inverts a triangle by perspective.|
- Implied - Make a still life arrangement of 5/6 objects to produce a triangle.
- Make a still life arrangement but so that the triangle is inverted.
- Arrange three people in a group picture to make a triangle.
Why use shapes in design?
Symmetrical shapes in an image can help balance an image and make it more pleasing visually. Similarly triangular shapes have three distinct points or corners which, being an odd number, are also more pleasing to the eye.
The shape(s) within an image also have a relationship with the frame which can be harmonious or natural e.g. in the case of horizontal shapes within a horizontal frame or create tension by contrasting with the frame e.g. in the case of a strong diagonal shape or zig-zag within a rectangular frame.
Composition of an image is a process involving many elements which are edited, either consciously or subconsciously by the photographer, to create a pleasing image. Using shapes in the design is one small part of the process.