Photography Quick Tip 7 ~ Patterns and Design

“As I have practiced it, photography produces pleasure by simplicity. I see something special and show it to the camera. A picture is produced. The moment is held until someone sees it. Then it is theirs.”
 Sam Abell

weathered wood on this tobacco shed in France creates a pattern reminiscent of days gone by

Do you see lines, shapes, repeating elements, and patterns when you look around you? They are found everywhere and we rarely notice them and tend to take them for granted. Photographers “see” them and capture them to create photographs that tell a story or bring what they saw into the mind’s eye of the viewer.

the lines and curves and the shapes they formed caught my eye

I find that designs made either by man or mother nature can help us to feel calm, curious, introspective, or inspired.

notice the remarkable patterns within one single flower

Patterns can make exciting subjects. Designs can be made up of lines that are straight or curved and often form a pattern of repeating elements. Abstract shapes also make interesting photographs.

from a door panel on a rusty, old truck

Look at your subject from various perspectives, including high and low angles, and create a pleasing composition.

beauty at a classic car show

Diagonal lines draw the viewer into the picture and help their eyes to wander through the scene. Filling the frame with a pattern creates emphasis and can also lead the viewer to imagine that it goes on and on.

Grandmother's mixing bowls create a simple, but effective design

Symmetrical or asymmetrical images are both appealing to look at and make beautiful wall art.

a stunning image from nature

Sometimes I create still lifes in order to form images that have leading lines and shapes.  Here is one I made with three eggs on a blue plate.

photographed in my kitchen

Look around you and make a mental note of all of the objects that either have designs embedded in them or that form patterns. Just taking a quick look I see my computer keyboard, buttons on the telephone, the coils in my notebooks, the air vents of my printer, woven design in a coaster I brought home from Thailand, rows of books on the shelf, wood grain pattern of my desktop, vertical rows of Chinese writing on a scroll I bought in Beijing, stripes on plant leaves, and so on.

I wonder what patterns and designs you will see and  include in the next photographs that you take.

More of my images can be seen at

If you’re interested in joining Fine Art America, check it out at the link belowArtist Websites

All photographs copyright © Marion McCristall

One thought on “Photography Quick Tip 7 ~ Patterns and Design

  1. You have given me food for thought. I’m going to look for lines and shapes while away for the winter. Will be a good project. Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring all of us. Cheers! Irene

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