elements of design # 7 – real and implied triangles

1: Real Triangles –

Find a Subject which is Triangular

A subject which is itself triangular

A subject which is itself triangular

There are loads of triangle in the left half of this – shot upstairs in the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness, but the best two are the one made by the vertical line of the wall and the slope of the roof and the the one made outside the banister.

For good measure, I threw in the three points of the alarm triggers off to the right, although they form a straight vertical rather than another triangle…

Make a Triangle by Perspective

1: Triangle with Apex at Top of Frame

1: Triangle with its Apex at the Top of the Frame

The Railway depot beside Orient Way provides a perfect, if cliched, triangular vanishing point. To get it taken without the overhead signals and the balustrade on the railway bridge I was on getting in the way and spoiling the effect, I had to lie down and shoot under the bottom of the railings.



Inverted Triangle with Apex at Bottom

Inverted Triangle with Apex at Bottom

Finding an inverted implied triangle did take a bit of thought to get to the “Aha! Overhead, or… looking down!” realisation, but the real difficulty was finding a vantage point high enough and close enough to the other side of the gap between me and the subject for the triangle to be properly pronounced. This is a glass lift shaft at work, taken from the 7th floor. I could have got more of the lines to complete their convergence by tilting down more, but that would have led to even more reflection of carpet, my feet etc etc in the glass…

2: Implied Triangles –

Still Lives, Arranging five or Six Objects to Make Triangles:

Still Life with Apex at Top

Still Life with Apex at Top

More things from the mantelpiece again here – cyan/blue objects arranged on a bright red bed settee.  The extreme colour contrast led to a nice differentiation between the objects and the background. The final desaturated result is more grainy than I might have liked, but I’ll work further with this in section 3 to try and get a smoother black and white effect.

I’ve tried to use either the objects’ length or their height to help reinforce the triangular shape of the composition.

Still Life with Apex at Bottom

Still Life with Apex at Bottom

The same is pretty much the case with the inverted triangle composition (which for a reason that eludes me includes a lego penguin minion, from the Batman sets).

Arrange 3 People in a Group Picture so that their bodies make a triangle:

Triangular Composition of People

Triangular Composition of People

Fiona, James and Mary at Inganess beach, just outside Kirkwall. A nice, obvious triangle, holding together the subject within the curve made by the cliffs and the high-water mark. I knew what I was doing here and – after taking a picture that didn;t work at all with just the two points made by Fiona and Mary, got James to step up to the edge of the water in between them, and bingo!

I wish I’d been more conscious of the reflection of James in the wet sand though – I don’t think the picture would work better with it all in, but it would have been interesting to see…

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