Exercise: Real and implied triangles (TAoP)

Produce two sets of triangular compositions in photographs – one using ‘real’ triangles, the other making ‘implied’ triangles. Each set should consist of three photographs.

Part One – Real triangles
1) An actual triangle
2) A triangle composed by perspective, converging towards the top of the frame
3) An inverted triangle composed by perspective, converging towards the bottom of the frame

Part Two – Implied triangles
1) Still-life arrangement of five or six objects to produce a triangle with the apex at the top
2) Still-life arrangement of five or six objects to produce a triangle with the apex at the bottom
3) Arrange three people in a group picture so that either their faces or the lines of their bodies make a triangle

The aim of this exercise is to show how ‘real’ and ‘implied’ triangles can be used in photography. The course notes define a shape as ‘both an outline and an enclosure’ and that it can be both real, such as an actual object, or implied. The triangle is one of the most common graphic shapes to be found and, as Michael Freeman writes in ‘The Photographer’s Eye‘ (2007), it is easy to create or imply – only three points are needed and it can also be created through perspective.

real triangle real triangle 2

Above are 2 examples of ‘real triangles’. The first being a road sign, the second is 5 small triangular stones set within a ring. I find the road sign rather boring, so wanted to incorperate the ring shot as it is a little bit more interesting and includes an asthetic use of shapes.

The second part of the exercise required a triangle shape being formed by perspective. Prefferably upwards so the apex of the triangle is at the top. To get this shot i was balancing on a fairly high wall – I wanted a shot that had no other buildings in the background so had to pick my subject carefully. I would have liked to have centred the shot a little more but i was unable to get the perfect angle. However, this demonstrates the objective.

implied 1

The final part (of part 1) was to do the opposite and have a triangle apex at the bottom of the shot, preferably aiming down on the subject. My feet clearly form the sides of the triangle and the horizontal ledge acts as the third side.

Part 2:

still life triangle

This shot used a low f number (wide aperture) to try to create a some what creative feel to a stack of hula hoops! I like how they are dark in contrast to the light behind them and how the spacing between them allows this light to come through.

still life 2

Next was a still life triangle with the apex at the bottom. To add a bit of interest to this image I used 3 different types of nut and incorperated pattern and symetry to make it a little less dull.

Finally I had to demostrate a triangle using 3 people. I was pushed for time with this one so pulled one out of my archive. I like how the people are actually sitting behing oneanother in relation to the angle of the camera. The framing around their heads clearly demonstrates a tight triangle.


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