2020 Photo Challenge #51

December’s theme / technique: Shape and Form

Line, shape, and form are three building blocks to add depth and interest to your photos. How do you use them in your photography?

Shape and form are not the same.

Shape: Squares, rectangles, circles, and triangles. Shapes are two-dimensional and “flat” in nature. Think about a bird silhouetted against the sky, easily recognisable as a bird by its shape.

        • Organic shapes occur frequently in nature (hence the name). They include curves, such as those you might see in the petal of a flower and irregular shapes such as those you might see on a rock face.
        • Geometric shapes, on the other hand, are straight and symmetrical. Often man-made and found in architecture, roads and bridges
        • Regular shapes such as circles, squares and triangles with even sides convey a sense of order and stability. Note that when squares and rectangles occupy a huge part of the photo without anything else, it will appear very flat. Triangles can act as arrows to direct the attention of the viewer.
        • Irregular shapes such as rectangles, skewed triangles, parallelograms and ovals can give a photograph the illusion of motion or simply make it seem more dynamic.

Positive shape: What you see is what you get. Positive shapes are whatever the objects/buildings/things are.

Negative shape: Whatever shape that is created in the negative space as in an archway that is formed by various rock formations or two swans facing each other forming that wonderful heart shape.

Form: Spheres, cubes, cylinders, and pyramids. Forms are three-dimensional and have “volume”.

      1. For the simplest version of this idea, look at shooting into the sun, or a bright light behind your subject which created silhouettes (shapes, 2D)
      2. Shape – negative space counts too in highlighting a subject’s shape.
      3. Form – is created by light and shadows changing shapes into a 3D
      4. A 3D object can also have a strong shape
      5. Move around your subject — see how lighting and shadows changes the shape and form.
This week's assignment - Examine some of your photos and look for shapes and forms.  Look for the ones that have strong geometric shapes and ask yourself what makes them good photos. Now find the organic shapes and determine what kind of mood those images seem to convey. Create a collage / gallery of at least six photos and explain why you like or dislike each one. Do your favourite photos contain different kinds of shapes or similar shapes?

I take a lot of flower portraits with organic shapes and forms, but I wanted to examine other images that I like. It appears that much of what is attractive to me are the positive shapes. And in particular those with form or 3 dimensional. Flat images do not appear very often in my library, but when they do they tend to be dramatic silhouettes.

If you would like to join in with the 2020 photo challenge then please take a look at my 2020 Photo Challenge page. No complicated rules, just a camera required 🙂

    • Create your own post with some information about how you composed the shot.
    • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
    • Add the tag #2020PhotoChallenge so everyone can find your entry easily in the WP Reader
    • Get your post(s) in by the end of the month, as the challenge finishes on 31 December.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

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