PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN

BALANCE

Just like you wouldn’t eat your three meals of the day in the morning, you don’t want to pack all your elements in only one area of your composition. That’s what balance is: making sure that the visual weight is equally distributed in your design.

To be precise, there are three types of balance:

  • Symmetrical balance: The elements of one side of the composition are strictly similar to those of the other side. This option naturally evokes classicism and constancy – like the pillars of a Greek temple.
  • Asymmetrical balance: The elements on both sides are different, but still give a feeling of having the same “weight”. This is achieved by playing with the colors, textures, shapes and positions of the items. For example, a small object can balance a bigger one if its color is darker, or its texture is more contrasted. This type of balance evokes modernism and vitality.
  • Radial balance: The elements are equally positioned all around the central point of the design, like if they were radiating out from it. This option gives a strong sense of life and dynamism.

EMPHASIS

It occurs when an artist creates an area that is visually dominant in the composition. It’s often achieved by means of contrast, but not exclusively. Every design should incorporate a primary element like this, known as a “focal point”, that will serve as a door through which the viewer can enter the composition.

RHYTHM & MOVEMENT

Life is like a riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”, once said Einstein. The exact same goes for your composition. For your viewers to enjoy it to the fullest, they have to “move” within your design. This is why a good creation always incorporates a path, which seamlessly leads the eye from one element to another, while communicating the proper information.

REPETITION OR PATTERN

Repetition = boring? Think again. A repeated element can create a pattern that is highly satisfactory. Repetition helps to create consistency, which is crucial when it comes to enforce the unity of your composition. Pattern or rhythm is simply repeating an element in such a manner. This will cause the viewer’s eye to move around to each element.

UNITY

Unity in design exists when all elements are in agreement. It creates a sense of completeness, and completion. To achieve this precious state of harmony, the designer needs to make sure that every element really belongs to the composition, with a specific place and role. Nothing should be useless or placed randomly.

PROPORTION

Proportion is the visual size and weight of elements in a composition and how they relate to each other. Proportion is using the size of an object to give it more or less importance. Proportion can be achieved only if all elements of your design are well-sized and thoughtfully placed.

VARIETY

Variety is exactly what it sounds like, having variety in your elements. Combines different shapes, forms, textures, values and sizes to create interesting compositions.

GOAL: You will create a set of 5 photographs for each Principle of Design. Please title your assignment Principle of Design then type your principle and it’s definition along with your 5 photographs the represent the principle of design visually. There are 7 Principle’s of Design so you should have 35 wonderful visual examples.

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