52.2 month 06 : patterns & contrast

Patterns, Broken Patterns, Traditional Contrast, Conceptual Contrast

Patterns are defined loosely here as similar elements that are repeated numerous times. Patterns are all around us, but we may not notice them at a casual glance. Our goal this week is to train our eyes to spot patterns in the environment that can create visual interest. The patterns may be geometric or non-geometric; each may impart a different effect in our photographs. The photos we post from this exercise may simply be of the patterns themselves or may incorporate subject placement as well.

Last week, we sought patterns to bring a sense of rhythm and harmony to our photos. However, patterns on their own can feel somewhat lacking – patterns can set a scene, but do not really create a point of interest to hold the viewer’s gaze.Breaking the pattern in an unexpected way can add the tension and vitality that transforms a scene from interesting to captivating. Our attention is riveted to object or person that disturbs the pattern, and the properties of the pattern itself are accentuated by the interruption.

A broad definition of contrast in art is the juxtaposition of opposite elements. Contrast between adjacent elements intensifies the properties of each and adds dynamism or drama to a work of art. The most well-known application of contrast in photography is the degree of difference between dark and light elements. This week, our photographs employ contrast in this traditional sense as the foundation of our compositions.

Last week, we examined contrast in its traditional sense in photography: light versus dark. Contrast of opposite elements can be interpreted much more broadly, however. This week, we explore a more creative and potentially playful take on “conceptual contrast”. In composing our photos, we might experiment with contrasts between big and small, old and new; really, the possibilities are limitless with a group as creative as the Who We Become circle!

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