Sequence viewing > Aesthetics Index - Resource - © Lloyd Godman

the use of Shapes in visual design - understanding Form and Volume

While photographing a 2d object might pose its own problems of even lighting, we do not need to use lighting to visually describe the third dimension.

However, when we photograph a form - an object that has depth - we need to utilize light and shadow to describe the object as a tangible shape which is reduced to 2 dimensions in our photograph. We can chose to do this as in a realistic representation, or as a visual abstraction.

As the building blocks of shapes on a 2 D image are squares, triangles and circles, in a 3D form we have cubes, cylinders, pyramids, cones, spheres as the basic building blocks. We need to understand that light reacts to the surfaces and edges of each of these forms in a different manner.

As light can not bend around corners, with forms that have a hard edge like a cube painted white, light can be directed to across various surfaces to produce a combination of tones from black through shades of grey to white. The tone the surface of the cube takes on depend upon the direction of the light.

There is a lighting exercise where a white cube is photographed in each of these phases.






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