Elements of Photographic Composition – Shape

The second element of composition is shape.  Why is shape second you may ask?  Because without lines – you can’t have shape.  We are taught at a very early age to recognize shapes – think of the child learning not only circle, square, triangle, but also to recognize the shape of a cow versus the shape of a pig.  Shapes are everywhere!

But according to Bryan Peterson’s Learning to See Creatively the most recognizable shape is that of a silhouette due to the strong contrast between the shape and the surroundings.

Picnic bench and willow trees taken at Taughannock State Park one very early morning!

Totally blown out sky but I do love the glow from the setting sun behind the lighthouse.  This is where my new graduated ND filter will come in very handy!!  Thanks Mom!!!

Myers Point Lighthouse, Lansing, NY

A very recognizable shape to all Ithacans and/or Cornellians:

McGraw Tower

McGraw Tower on Cornell University's campus

My last shape shot is very recognizable to the residents of Pittsburgh and possibly to people who watch too many Pittsburgh Steeler games as this prominent and distinctive downtown building can be seen from Heinz Field.

PPG Building, Pittsburgh, PA

The next element we will study is form – stay tuned!!


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