A Design Blitz

Rhythm

I really love this photo to demonstrate rhythm. I took this photo in 2012 while in Las Vegas. The steps, in their repetition, provide a very syntactically pleasing pattern as you look down the staircase.

More about syntactics here.

The positioning at the top of the stairs in tandem with the consistent step pattern gives a really pleasant reception on the eyes. This is what it means to have design rhythm. The directional pattern moves your eyes down the stairs and with no effort, takes the observer on the intended journey. This concept also works in reverse if you like to imagine you just arrived at the top although a little less obviously.

“There are many different kinds of rhythm, often defined by the feeling it evokes when looking at it.”

– Vignelli

Dominance

Ah, one of my favorite all time pictures. Almost everything I love.

A ball. A beautiful day. A perfect field to myself and an open net.

You can control a big space, like a soccer field, with a little dominance.

When you practice dominance correctly in your photography you can capture your scene but whilst making a particular subject or idea the star of the show.

I was out there playing soccer that day and I wanted to capture the entire essence of what, to me felt magical.

So the ball was going to be my dominator.

Then comes context. I wanted to capture the absolutely beautiful day out on the field that it was. Giving the ball depth and context.

You’ll notice I use the yellow field goal post syntactically like a grid line to arrange the view.

I’ve also gotten to an angle whereas the yellow field goal post lines up with the white crossbar of the soccer net.

Everything is purposeful. The small details matter.

Having the soccer ball dominate the frame with the net behind it and the green of the field…

The blue of the sky.

It all came together really nicely.

When you dominate your design properly you can really create something special.

Contrast

Contrast is probably the most intriguing design concept that’s intrigued me since I was young.

Contrast can be many things.

Contrast can be shades of light and dark.

But contrast can be a contrast of ideas. And this is the most creativity permitting manner to project contrast.

Contrast can be a pulmonary doctor smoking a cigarette.

Contrast can be single campfire in the center of an enormous icy tundra at night.

I love the natural contrast that I captured in this photograph of the water tower. Light and darkness is the most obvious type of contrast but not without deep internal reasons. Light vs darkness is a religious archetype that has been a part of our psychologies for a very long time.

So use it. It works.

Metaphors/Symbols

More religion.

Is there a more powerful symbol than this?

The use of symbols has always been to convey large, complex ideas simply.

That’s why we love symbols so much.

Religion and faith are extremely intrinsic, complex feelings. It’s very tough for people to express something so intangible in so many ways.

The cross is minimalistic yet carries all of Christianity’s complexities whilst representing one of the most prolific stories ever – Christ’s crucifixion.

Even the agnostic cannot disagree that the cross is a brilliant use of metaphor/symbolism.


This entire photo album is available on my Flickr for a better view of it all.

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