Dr. Seuss Composition Lessons

Dr. Seuss, master of composition.

If we want to make better photos or pictures, let’s study his work.

Preliminary sketches

From ‘Oh, the places you’ll go!’:

Leading line, and disappearing vantage point

Note the leading curve of the road in the foreground, emptying to the vanishing point in the background:

Arabesque curve


Note the small details, like the hands in the bottom right corner, or how the little boy in the background is super small.

Or the keyboard in the foreground, how it makes a nice curve arabesque composition:

Sense of scale

Note how little the boy is, and how big everything around him is.

Lesson: Have a single subject, really small in the frame, in front of an entrance way, to symbolize unknown paths; an adventure awaiting!

Avoid overlapping figures, and add depth and balance to the frame

Note small details like the kite string in bottom left corner:

Also see the Arabesque curve composition:

Exiting the frame, bottom right corner.

This picture reminds me of the famous Henri Cartier-Bresson Bicycle Photo leaving the frame:

Lesson: Subjects leaving the frame are dynamic compositions!

Bottom left to top right composition:

I’m pretty sure DR SEUSS found inspiration from MC ESCHER, especially skewing perspective, and repetition: