Arabesque Street Photography Composition

I’m more and more inspired by the “Arabesque” (curved) composition, especially in street photography!

What is an arabesque composition?

To start off, “Arabesque” comes from the word “Arab”, denoting the floral designs from the Arab, middle eastern world. “Esque” means similar, or like.

So the arabesque is any design which is similar to, or mimcs these “Arab” designs, which are elegant, free flowing, dynamic, curved, and have lots of movement:


## Why is the arabesque beautiful, or desirable to create in our photographs?

To me, photography is art. To me the purpose of art is to give us more appreciation of life and being alive.

Furthermore, to inspire us to make our own artwork!

I have seen and witnessed the arabesque (curve) composition executed well in film, cinema (7 Samurai by Akira Kurosawa, or any of his films), and very successfully by Guy Le Querrec.

My suggestion: look for the arabesque compositions in photography and great classic cinema. Nowadays the only photographers whose work I study or admire are Magnum photographers, especially the old school guys. Like David Seymour Chim:

Another idea: study the compositions of Dr. Seuss!

Or study Michelangelo:


o shoot the arabesque in street photography, my suggestion is to first of all, study photographers who do the arabesque well. Then, just try to do it in real life!

Look for the heads or body positions of people in a curved shape and form, and try it out for yourself!

Experiment and have fun,


To learn how to create more dynamic street photography compositions, join me at one of my upcoming workshops, where I can teach you how to do this in real life!