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5 Ways to Use Geometric Shapes in Photographs

By Melanie Doncas | Inspiration

We’re constantly surrounded by a wide range of geometric shapes and patterns, from trees, lakes, and forests to the buildings around us. Although you might not have considered it before, shapes can be cleverly used in your photography to transform ordinary imagery into the sublime.

So, how do you use shapes in photography? There are a few tricks you’ll want to keep up your sleeve when incorporating geometry in your photos. Keep reading to learn our top 5 tips!

1. Triangles Direct Attention to a Specific Point

Triangles are an effective shape for directing attention to a particular part within your image. Depending on how a triangle is positioned, it can stimulate either a calm or energetic response from the onlooker.

Triangles are also one of the most versatile shapes to capture in your photography. A triangle can indicate progression, forward motion, or reversing, depending on whether it is pointing left or right.

Additionally, a triangle that fades toward the horizon evokes the illusion of depth and perspective. Off-kilter triangles combined with vibrant colors create striking designs that ooze energy and force.

In this example, the triangle creates a unique balance in the image. It directs our gaze toward and then past the subjects to imply forward progression.

geometric shapes triangles

2. Circular Shapes Draw a Viewer’s Eye Inwards

Circles might not be as sharp or attention-grabbing as the pointy angles of a triangle, but they still work wonderfully to draw the viewer’s eye inwards or to a specific part of your image.

Their round and organic shape also have a calming effect when used in photos, making them perfect for balancing a dramatic or action-packed scene, or highlighting an already-tranquil view.

Overall, circles represent unity and completion. This is why circular motifs (like rings or halos) are frequently used in wedding and newborn photography.

In this example, the spiral staircase slowly draws your eye down to the center of the image to rest on what’s featured within the circle.

geometric shapes circular

3. Squares and Rectangles Create Order

They may seem like two of the more boring shapes you could photograph, but squares and rectangles are ideal for providing visual balance or symmetry within an image. Additionally, their very structured appearance allows them to quickly create order and conformity within your photo.

Take the image below, for example, which features an aerial shot of pedestrians. The rectangular shapes within this photo create some visual intrigue and contrast. They also highlight the similar actions of these people as captured from above.

Because we liken squares or rectangles to picture frames, they’re also highly effective at framing your photo’s subject in a more traditional way. This makes these shapes great for incorporating into portrait photography or images which you want to have a simplistic, yet organized appearance.

geometric shapes rectangles

4. Patterns are Useful for Framing and Composition

Be on the lookout for a scene featuring lots of shapes arranged in a repetitive manner, as these geometric patterns can really make your photography pop. Not only are they eye-catching, but patterns are also a great way to frame your image or enhance its composition.

When a scene is filled with patterns, it can create a sense of order or drama in your photo – depending on how busy the pattern is.

There are patterns to be found everywhere, including tile formations, pebbles on the beach, bricks on walls, and the windows of a building, for example. This image below uses a mural of abstract shapes to provide the perfect background.

geometric shapes patterns

5. Lines Create a Sense of Movement

Whether straight, curved, or organic, lines are another wonderful shape you can incorporate into your photography. You only need to look around you to discover just how common lines are in our everyday environments, from buildings and walls to clothing, objects, and furniture, for example.

Different lines convey different themes in photography too. Parallel lines, for example, evoke order and consistency, while curved lines are playful and full of energy. Organic lines, like those featured in the image below, indicate movement and rhythm. See how they draw our eye in and around the landscape?

geometric shapes lines

Enhance Your Composition Using Geometric Shapes

Now that you know how to use shapes in photography, as well as why geometry is important in photographs, it’s time to put your skills to the test!

Play around with your camera and the composition of shapes in your photos to see what amazing work you can produce. Once you’ve finished capturing this imagery, you can use BeFunky’s wide range of photo editing tools and features to perfect your photos.

Check out our Photo Editor to see what’s on offer! 

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