How Using Geometry Can Improve Your Photography

Capturing a different perspective in your work is helpful not just for diversifying your portfolio, but also for learning to influence the viewer’s perception of the photo. Movie directors in the past have used framing techniques to show subliminal messages about a character and express an emotion or state of being. This is common in animation where animators can decide on what shape the characters will be. Now You See It created this video to demonstrate how filmmakers use geometry to frame their subjects and help the viewer with perspective:

The underlying significance of shapes and framing in cinematography helps filmmakers to characterize the people in their stories, including whether they should be perceived as good or evil. This can be done in photography, as well! It’s not quite the same because of the still subjects in photography, but there are other methods of using geometry in your photographs to change the perspective or frame an image. As you can see in these two featured images, the lines show where the viewer will look and where the important event occurs.

viewpoint angle iconic

Leading Lines

The video describes how geometry is used to draw a subconscious reaction from the viewer. In the above shot from The Shining, six lines all direct the viewer to the by placing the subject at the photo’s focal point.

frame subject incredibles

Framing

You can learn a lot from using geometry to arrange your image. One method involves framing the subject. The example above shows Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles being “trapped” in the rectangle frame that lies within the outermost frame. Using shapes to your advantage helps create a story in your photograph and allows you to frame it the way you want it. So, the next time you set out to have a photo shoot, remember how geometry can influence your work!

“I want to suggest that with this study, we can see how the brain gives abstract meaning to many different shapes in a consistent way.”

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