Elements of Art Principles of Design

Elements of Art
Principles of Design
How are these tools relevant in my
Elements of Art
Line. Shape & Form. Value. Color.
Space. Texture
Elements of Art
Line. Shape & Form. Value. Color.
Space. Texture
A photograph is usually looked at
- seldom looked into.
Ansel Adams
~ - ~ - ~ - ~Line ~ - ~ - ~ -~
A point moving in space. A line can be an actual object (i.e.
railroad tracks), or it can be implied (i.e. geese flying in a “V”).
Harry Callahan
Michael Kenna
Shape & Form
Shape = 2D; geometric or organic shapes. In photography, shapes are
seen in wheels, road signs, windows, a silhouette of a face, a wet
footprint, shadows, etc.
Form = 3D; how the lighting in a photo hits your object will determine
whether it looks flat (2D) or has form/volume (3D).
Starn Brothers
Michael Kenna
Starn Brothers
In photography, when talking about color, you’re talking about light. For our purposes,
it is the hue or “name” of a visual light source.
Cameras do not see color, they see value (specifically, 18% gray).
David Haxton
Value refers to the quality of light, the black white and shades of gray within a photo.
This is sometimes referred to as Low Key and High Key; low key is a photo that’s
mostly dark, while high key is a photo with mostly light, or white values.
Sally Mann
Michael Kenna
Sally Mann
The arrangement of objects within a photograph. Depth of field can help a
photographer manipulate space (i.e. what’s near, far, and in or out of focus).
Barbara Callahan
Robert Frank
Starn Brothers
This element appeals to the sense of touch. In photography, it is often what makes a
photo look more believable, more 3D (i.e. rusty metal, glass, gravel, bricks, plastic).
Starn Brothers
Edward Weston
Robert Frank
Principles of Design
Balance. Unity. Variety. Movement &
Rhythm. Emphasis. Proportion. Pattern.
Use the elements of art to achieve the principles of design…
The arrangement of elements within a composition to create visual stability. Can be symmetrical (mirror
image), asymmetrical (uses size/placement of objects in an “uncentered” way yet still appear visually
balanced), or radial (circular style where objects radiate from a central point in an image).
Christen Berry
Paul Strand
Balance, cont.
James Nachtwey
When all individual parts of your photograph come together and support each other to make one
unified image.
Annie Leibovitz- “Keith Haring”
Annie Leibovitz- “Steve Martin”
The diversity of elements and principles found in a composition.
Cindy Sherman
Variety, cont.
Dorothea Lange
Can be real, as in the movement of actual objects in the frame; or, can be implied, as
in the way a viewer’s eye travels through a picture.
Richard Avedon
Created by the organized repetition of art elements (or objects).
Sebastiao Salgado
Rhythm, cont.
Refers to the dominance and subordination of objects in the picture plane.
Annie Leibovitz- “Cate Blanchett”
Andy Goldsworthy
The relative size of one element in a picture to another.
David Eggleston
Proportion, cont.
Sebastiao Salgado
Achieved by the repetition of any of the elements of art. Even random shapes which are similar
can create a pattern. The key to pattern is repetition.
Andy Goldsworthy

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