Finding yourself in a photographic rut? Add value to your images by keeping these geometric principles in mind.

Symmetry

Symmetry lies at the heart of the laws of nature. It’s calming and pleasant to the eye when an image features a symmetrical composition. But a photo doesn’t necessarily need to be split directly down the middle to successfully incorporate symmetry. When an image feels balanced, you can achieve the same (and sometimes more interesting) result.

Look around on your next trip; you can find symmetry everywhere.

Shapes

Using shapes is another way to creatively frame the subjects in your photos.

Squares and rectangles suggest conformity and order. Keep an eye out for these shapes and use them to enhance that feeling.

On the other hand, the circle represents unity, completion, and perfection. When used in an image, circular shapes can help draw the eye inward and keep the viewer’s attention on the subject.

Finally, triangles are a good way to focus attention toward a certain point. And, depending on the way a triangle is angled, it can evoke a calm or energetic feeling for the viewer.

Converging lines

Converging lines can be used to add depth and guide the viewer’s attention in a specific direction. These lines don’t need to be physical, per se, but can be created using a pattern that directs the gaze forward.

Parallel lines

The use of parallel lines evokes order and rhythm in photography. Parallel vertical lines give the illusion of growth, while horizontal lines give the impression of calmness or tranquility.

Intersecting Lines

Diagonal or angled leading lines can make an image seem more dynamic. By highlighting these lines, photos become more active. Depending on your angle, intersecting leading lines can also help connect more than one subject or add depth to a photo.

Patterns

Patterns are a useful tool for both framing and composition in photography. When a frame is filled with shapes it can add to a photo’s drama or, when aligned, its order.

You can find patterns in window arrangements in buildings, shapes of tiles, pebbles on a beach, bricks on a wall etc.. When you know what to look for, you can find them all around you.

Perspective

Sometimes, even a perfectly-composed shot can end up looking a bit boring. If that’s the case, try changing the perspective by flipping or rotating the image to find the view that makes it most intriguing.

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Marco de Groot
Marco de Groot, from Utrecht, the Netherlands, has a keen eye for geometrical shapes and uses them to capture the world around him. He loves to travel and explore cities around Europe and hunt for the modern buildings that complete his growing Instagram collection. He even organises so called “archimeets” to meet up with fellow architecture Instagrammers and together capture the modern architecture in cities all over Europe.

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