Sequence viewing > Aesthetics Index - Resource - © Lloyd Godman

the use of Pattern in photographic design

Like rhythm, pattern is built up on repetition - repetition of shapes - colours etc. but unlike rhythm which is associated much more with direction in an image, it is associated with area in the image. Pattern in an image encourages the eye to roam over the surface rather than to move across the image in a certain direction.


Strong patterns tend to have one element which is homogenous (something in the image which is static) and if the elements or motif that create the pattern extend past the edge of the frame they suggest a continuation of the pattern outside the frame.


As with edge to edge rhythm the idea of continuation occurs - the eye assumes that the pattern extends past the edge of the frame. Allowing the pattern to extinguish before the edge of the frame establishes limits. Patterns are created from visual elements that repeat - to a certain point - the more these elements repeat the more we create a sense of pattern than simply a group of individual objects


Once the individual elements become too hard to distinguish, the pattern changes and we recognize it as a texture. In terms of actual numbers this can vary depending on the nature of the visual element which is being repeated - but it might lie between ten and several hundred.


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