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TAOP: Triangles exercise

Triangles occur more frequently than any other shape and they are very useable in design.  Different shapes have different associations, in a similar way to lines, with triangles tending to create a sense of activity and dynamism.

Triangles are easy to find due to have just three sides and corners – and two sides will give the impression of a triangle provided they penetrate far enough into the picture.  Perspective also creates triangles.  With the camera pointing upwards – at a building, tree, or other vertical lines – the apex would be at the top and base level at the bottom of the picture.  By pointing the camera downwards you’ll get the opposite effect.

The exercise asks for six shots – three ‘real’ and three ‘implied’ triangles.

Real

Tardis Roof
(ISO100, 1/200sec, f/4 aperture – shot on manual with flash fired)

“Find a subject which is itself triangular (it can be a detail of something larger.”

Chimney
(ISO100, 1/160sec, f/5.6 aperture – aperture priority)

“Make a triangle by perspective, converging towards the top of the frame.”

Speaker
(ISO100, 1/200sec, f/4 aperture – shot on manual with flash fired)

“Make an inverted triangle, also by perspective, converging towards the bottom of the frame.” 

Implied

Dice
(ISO100, 1/200sec exposure, f/5.6 aperture – shot on manual with flash fired)

Make a still-life arrangement of five or six objects to produce a triangle with the apex at the top. “

Gems
(ISO100, 1/200sec exposure, f/5.6 aperture – shot on manual with flash fired)

 

“Make a still-life arrangement as above, but so that the triangle is inverted, with the apex at the bottom.”

Substitutes
(ISO800, 1/100sec exposure, f/20 aperture – shot on manual with flash and high ISO to fill the faces due to the brighter background)

“Arrange three people in a group picture in such a way that either their faces or the lines of their bodies make a triangle.”

I had to improvise here.  I’m at home with no people around, so I figured I’d use these toys instead – basically gives the same effect, with a ‘bonus’ triangle created by Darth Maul’s posed legs.   Not the best photo in the world, but it illustrates the point.  I probably should have chosen a location where I controlled the light (just shooting the opposite direction would have simp lied the shot).

Summary

The text asks why bother using shapes in design?

The answer is that shapes organise parts of a picture – to provide structure to an image.  Because a shape has a tendency to enclose, it helps make groups of things cohere and brings order and clarity to an image.

Simplification to emphasise a triangle structure of an image can be achieved by:

  • altering viewpoint (moving closer, around, etc.).
  • rearrangement of objects.
  • changing lighting (or waiting for the lighting to change).

 

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