Sequence viewing > Aesthetics Index - Resource - © Lloyd Godman

Gestalt Theories

Similarity: The visual strategy behind SIMILARITY is SAMENESS - with visual elements that are similar and equidistant from each other the eye links them together an groups according to their similarity - so the group of similar elements are seen as a figure. The chairs are seen as a continuous figure that fills the frame.


Proximity: The visual strategy behind PROXIMITY is DISTANCE and a play of SPATIAL RELATIONSHIPS - here visual elements that are in close proximity tend to be grouped together and seen as a single visual figure.

What is intriguing about this image is the proximity of the bridge, the buildings and the huge rock formation, each connects and plays off the other.




Continuity: The visual strategy behind CONTINUITY is LINE - Here visual elements are grouped to from continuous straight or curved lines. The eye wants to follow lines in an image and where there are gaps the eye wants to join these up to continue the visual flow

In this image the eye follows the lines of soil down the vine yard , and then across to the right where it continues down the road. Look how the line has more visual power in the foreground where it is larger.


Closure: The visual strategy behind CLOSURE is SHAPE - Here, closed Visual elements are seen as figures - by this we mean shapes. They might form large dominant areas that we can use to structure the image.

In this image the rocks create fascinating shapes that create interacting shapes in the sky. Look how the opening on the right leads the eye to the rock in the distance -

Through the use of camera viewpoint ( where we place the camera) and isolating key visual elements within a scene we produce a series of images that exploit the four key gestalt laws. This is about "seeing" and visualizing how elements relate within a scene when we isolate them in the viewfinder of the camera.


So here we see a scene of a playground.


This image uses Continuity - the line of the rail as the key visual element. So base continuity on line -  make the line the largest and most graphic aspect in the viewfinder - this might mean moving in close to a liner element like a rail.

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This image uses Proximity - Two or more different visual elements - here one is in the foreground the other behind - this is termed front to back proximity.

So Proximity is based on 2 or more elements that are different  - try to isolate these against a plain ground or background

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This image uses Similarity -as the yellow footholds are all the same they relate to each other. So base similarity on similar elements - and try to frame out other elements.

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This image uses Closure - the strong shape of the step is isolated within the frame. So base closure  on isolating large shapes in the viewfinder  - this might mean moving close  and eliminating other elements

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4 images below take at a single location - each one uses a different gestalt law

Proximity - 2 or more visually distinct elements adjacent to each other - mouse over to view


Similarity - 2 or more elements that are the same - mouse over to view



Continuity the strong line of the fence - mouse over to view


Closure - strong bold shapes - mouse over to view


Want to learn more? - do a workshop or one on one with Lloyd Godman

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