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Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Real and implied triangles

This exercise is to explore one of the most common shapes in images, that being of triangles. The idea of the exercise is to come up with 2 sets of compositions. One being real triangles and the other being implied triangles.


For some reason I struggled to get started with this one. I think it was to do with the fact I had started seeing triangles everywhere but I just wasn’t taking the shots. Maybe a bit of photographers block for this exercise.

Again most of the images are from various locations and times and were taken in different order than as displayed.

Real Triangles


100mm f/5.6 1/350 ISO 100

Find a subject which is itself triangular

I must have found loads of triangles through this exercise! However I just really linked the simplicity of this one; the top of some railings close to Trafalgar Square London. The arrowhead is an obvious triangle shape, emphasised by the dark contrasted against the brighter and shallow depth (using a longer focal length and slightly larger aperture). Here is another but a wider view of the same scene and I’ve added a border to it.


18mm f/16 1/60 ISO 100

Make a triangle by perspective converging towards the top of the frame

The linear perspective / diagonals of the road edges and the painted white lines create a number of triangles with the point towards the top of the frame to a vanishing point. I took the image level (eye height) and used a wide angle that added a slight distortion at the base of the triangle. I cropped to a more panoramic image to emphasis the perspective and have the points of the triangles close to the top of the frame, leading your up towards it. 


34mm f/4.5 1/90 ISO 100

Make an inverted triangle by perspective, converging towards the bottom of the frame

To create this triangle I pointed the camera down towards the bottom right corner of a concrete ‘window’ space while standing quite close to it. The light coming through the gap creates the contrast  against the dark side of the stonework that is in the shade (out of the light). As in the other ‘real’ triangle images the the horizontal and verticals of the frame also add contrast the the diagonals. The diagonal lines of the triangle (and vertical) draws the eye to the centre of the frame

Implied Triangles


100mm f/5.6 1/350 ISO 100

Make a still life to produce triangle with apex towards top of frame

The 3 balanced apples create the 3 points of the triangle. I feel that the vertical orientation of the frame draws the eye upwards from the bottom 2 apples, making the centre framed apple the dominant point of the triangle; this is further strengthened by  the 3 stems of the apple, creating mini vertical lines. The highlights created by the light source also creates 3 points of a triangle within the darker apple skin.


100mm f/5.6 1/350 ISO 100

Make a still life to produce triangle with apex towards bottom of frame

A simple reversal of the first implied triangle by placing the apple ‘towards’ us and turning so that the stem is towards the camera. I think in this version you are drawn down from the top of the frame in contrast to the first implied example. I changed the orientation and crop of the frame to horizontal, however I think this has made the image more static.


18mm f/3.5 1/60 ISO 400

Arrange 3 people in a group that imply a triangle

The position of these 3 people create a downward pointing but shallow triangle. The height of the heads create the points centred on the girl, who is also centred in the frame.

As I said before this was another one of those exercises that took me a long time to get to get started on. At first it seemed quite a straightforward exercise, although there are plenty of ‘triangles’ out there, I struggled to find images that I liked, or fit the criteria to a standard. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself!

Here is another implied triangle for free!

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