I can't believe how fast this year has flown by. There's only 4 more creative challenges left, which is crazy to think! If you haven't had a chance to try out all of the previous challenges, go here to see them.
Our September challenge is:
Elements of Design
There are many basic elements in photography for catching a viewer's eye. Most of them have to do with composition, and others we have already completed in our challenges.
I wanted to focus on some of these elements to help make myself more aware of composing images with thoughtfulness. When we take the time to think through what elements of design we add to our images, it helps us go from taking an image to making an image. And I definitely want to be a picture maker!
I will admit, design elements in photography are things I think about more when I'm taking nature pictures than when I'm taking pictures of my kids, so please excuse the absence of people examples this month.
Some thoughts about this challenge:
Wikipedia said this of elements of design:
Painter and design theorist Maitland E. Graves (1902-1978), who attempted to gestate the fundamental principles of aesthetic order in visual design, in his book, The Art of Color and Design (1941), defined the elements of design as Line, Direction, Shape, Size, Texture, Value, and Color (in that order), concluding that "these elements are the materials from which all designs are built."
There is no way we could ever cover every element of design in just one month, so I've decided to just focus on a few of them. Please don't think you have to limit yourself as well...you can certainly pick from any of the elements above! I'm personally going to focus on: line, shape, texture, and I'm adding patterns (repetition) to this as well.
Lines can take our eyes throughout an image. Often called leading lines, we want our viewers to be naturally drawn to a focal point in our image. Lines that lead their eyes to that focal point help the viewers know what it is they're supposed to be seeing. Since we read from left to right in the English language (and many others), it's often best to place a line leading from left to right in your image. Of course, rules are made to be broken, so this is not must-do! Just be cautious that your lines lead into your picture instead of out of it, otherwise you risk losing the attention of your viewer much more quickly.
We all learned our shapes when we were young, right? Circle, square, rectangle, triangle, etc. When using shape in photography, it doesn't mean that we can only take pictures of an exact shape (though we still can!), but the subject holds a specific form. Flowers from above look like circles, a pine tree is a triangle, and so forth. When we use shapes properly, they can make a strong statement in our images! Don't forget shapes can be in the main subject, off to the sides, in foreground and background elements, or as silhouettes.
Most everything has texture, whether it's strong, hard, soft, waved, rippled, rough or smooth. Capturing these textures takes thought, proper angles and the right kind of lighting. Flat and front light will seldom produce exciting textures. Side and harsh light seem to work the best in making textures really pop, though proper backlighting can also work well. Also zooming into the textured item and really focusing on just that will make it stand out, giving your viewer the desire to reach out and touch your image!
This is not one of the elements of design according to Graves, but I think otherwise. I am often mesmerized by patterns I see around me, especially in flowers. But don't just leave it at that! Patterns can be found in walls, floors, buildings, clothing, landscapes and even people. Using patterns can draw your viewer in! Another great way to use patterns is to break it up with one solitary subject that completely contradicts the pattern in size, color or form.
I can't wait to see what you'll come up with in using elements of design creatively this month! It will take some thought, but as you take the time to think about it, you'll find it will come easier to you as you search and look for them!
If you want to do some easier practicing in finding design elements, put your camera away and take a few minutes to look around you. Look for some of these design elements in your yard, your home, as your drive down the street and in your neighborhood. Even watching for them in your favorite shows or movies can help you get a better understanding of them, then when you're ready to shoot, you'll be more in tune with them, and I promise, you will find them everywhere once you start looking!
To participate this month with us on Instagram, please use the tag: #2017creative_design. My team and I will be featuring our favorite images on the Creative Inspiration Community hub with the above tag!
If you're not on Instagram, we've started a Creative Inspiration Community page in FB so we can push our posts directly there. If you'd rather see posts there, www.facebook.com/CreativeInspirationCommunity/find and follow the page here! We use it solely to push our posts from IG to FB, so there's not much interaction over there. It's basically set up so anyone not involved with IG will see what we share.
If you haven't joined the Facebook group yet, and would like to, go here. I am personally terrible at getting on FB, so it's up to you all to keep it going if you want. ;)
Thank you to all of you who have joined in with me on this challenge! I've learned so much this year already, and I can't wait to keep creating with you!
Have an amazing day, and happy creative shooting!