Study Geometry to Make Dynamic Photography Compositions

This is my theory: to make better photos, study Geometry!

Henri Cartier-Bresson studied Composition and geometry and was endlessly fascinated with it. You can see his geometric compositions in his photos.

For myself I like geometry, because of the energy, force, and dynamism apparent in geometry. The more I study Geometry for fun, the more I can internalize interesting and dynamic compositions.

For example I like to use my iPad to trace interesting geometry with the Procreate app. I also find it mentally soothing, and fun — experimenting colors, angles, and curves:


Philosophically no straight lines exist in nature. Euclid and Plato was wrong in thinking of the natural world in the procrusten bed of shapes, lines, planes, and forms. In real life and nature, everything is curved and dynamic.

But still, studying geometry for our own self edification is fun, challenging, and interesting.


Google old PDF documents of “Euclid Elements”, and “Projective geometry” to find inspiration. Save them to your laptop, phone, or tablet and study them!


Also study the compositions of photographers whose work you like, and ask yourself:

Did they try to intentionally make that composition, or did they discover it afterwards?

Then ask yourself,

Can I make a photographic composition like that in real life, with intention?

Have fun,
ERIC


Projective geometry


Composition 101

ERIC KIM X ANNETTE KIM X BAUHAUS REMIX

Master composition for yourself:

Photography Composition Tips

Color Theory

Color wheel theory: Dynamic tension between opposing colors.
Color wheel theory: Dynamic tension between opposing colors. Image from CREATIVE EVERY DAY

Learn From the Masters of Composition

Sergio Larrain Compositions
Sergio Larrain Compositions

Dynamic Photography Composition 101

Leading lines. ERIC KIM DYNAMIC COMPOSITION
Leading lines. ERIC KIM DYNAMIC COMPOSITION

Painting Compositions

Vermeer

Dynamic Photography Composition Tips

Chiaroscuro. DYNAMIC LIGHT AND SHADOW. Hanoi, 2016 by ERIC KIM
Chiaroscuro. DYNAMIC LIGHT AND SHADOW. Hanoi, 2016 by ERIC KIM

Composition Theory

Dynamic low angle composition. Tokyo, 2011 by ERIC KIM
Dynamic low angle composition. Tokyo, 2011 by ERIC KIM

Take your composition to the next level:


Street Photography Composition 101

DYNAMIC REFLECTIONS. Man and three reflections by ERIC KIM
DYNAMIC REFLECTIONS. Man and three reflections by ERIC KIM

For distilled lessons on composition, read the free ebook: “The Street Photography Composition Manual.”

Further articles to improve your compositions in photography:

Composition Theory

Chiaroscuro. DYNAMIC LIGHT AND SHADOW. Hanoi, 2016 by ERIC KIM
Woman and door. Chiaroscuro. DYNAMIC LIGHT AND SHADOW. Hanoi, 2016 by ERIC KIM

Learn compositional theory:


Compositional lessons from the masters of art


Composition lectures


Composition pictures/grids

Eric Kim photography Bauhaus Piet Mondrian


Golden Diagonal Composition

golden diagonal composition
Golden Diagonal Composition / Kyoto Station, 2018

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