Rhythms and patterns

Rhythms and patterns

Two images were necessary for this exercise, one to demonstrate rhythm and the other to demonstrate pattern. This is the final exercise in the ‘Elements of design’ part of the course.



The rhythmic beat in this image starts outside one side and finishes way beyond the frame of the photograph, you can almost imagine; its repetitive nature carries the viewer’s eye right through the image and almost leaves the viewer continuing the theme in their own head. It is eventually broken by a group of people on the right hand side; that is if you are going from left to right. If there were no people, the image would be almost perfectly symmetrical; does this mean that everybody’s eyes would be carried through the image in the same direction? I asked a few people which direction they thought their eyes travelled in the image, the answers varied. Most people started in the centre of the image and were inclined to go left, I think this is because of the obstruction the rhythm faced on the right; the people. I tend to agree. I think that the wide focal length has helped to convey the beat that flows through like a small bouncing ball above some music lyrics.



For this shot, I decided to shoot a shelving unit full of shirts in a clothing shop. I took a step back from the unit and took the picture with a focal length of 40mm to compress the subject slightly to fit better in the frame. Again, like the first image, you can imagine the shirts towering above, beyond the frame; there is no way of knowing the boundaries of the unit because of the tight frame. It’s a very stable image thanks to its geometric composition. The strong contrast helps the pattern to dominate the image and the patterns on the shirts add interest and divergence, breaking the repetition just the right amount for it to still be considered a recurrence. It is quite a static image and doesn’t have any direction like the first image, the viewer’s eye doesn’t really know where to go and as a result just meanders over the photograph.



In this very interesting exercise, I have learned that by using rhythm you give a sense of direction and by using pattern you get a very static image. They are completely opposite in this respect but the same in the sense that they are both conveyed using repetition; without repetition, you could not create either. Incorporating rhythm into an image can create a very melodic and almost bouncy photograph, it becomes fun to view and  a very innocent and child-like sense is born. Pattern is a lot more serious and is assumed, like rhythm, to be continued beyond the frame.



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