Rhythms and patterns


The requirement is for two pictures, one depicting rhythm and the other pattern.


Whilst pattern was obvious to me the principle of rhythm was less so.  I referred to both Freeman (2007: 48-51) and Prakel (2012: 68-69).  I also found some additional material in Freeman (2013: 76-79) as well as numerous examples from a Google search.  As I have inferred, I considered the rhythm shot to be the more challenging of the two.  Whilst the principle became clear using the musical analogy, I was concerned about finding a subject that was not boring eg cable pylons that dominate the countryside in my area and form a rhythmical march across the fields of our green and pleasant land.  For the pattern shot it became clear that there were a number of options ranging from numerous man-made examples in the urban landscape, which would be more obvious and easier to find, through to nature’s patterns which would be considerably more challenging both in terms of finding and achieving a composition that would meet the criteria.  I noted the importance of framing the pattern such that there is the assumption, when viewed, that it continues beyond the edges.  In common with other exercises in this section I elected to present the images in both colour and B+W for comparison in the build up to the assignment.



I debated this image as, to my mind, it portrays both rhythm and pattern but I decided that the framing gave the rhythm dominance whilst the pattern in the structure introduced interest.  I think the rhythm is introduced by the columns in the top arches and then the arches themselves move the eye along. Looking at the two images I think the B+W best portrays this design element.


When I first considered this I questioned how big, or small, the pattern has to be to ensure effectiveness; this is the side of a relatively large building that has been given over to street art.  Looking at the overall structure I saw a pattern in the structure of the building itself, one of those concrete monstrosities, overlaid by the street art.  Although in this shot there is no obvious repetition in the pattern of the artwork I think it leaves you asking the question as to whether it repeats itself outside the frame, which adds a bit of tension.  For me the B+W image, with the contrasting tones is the more interesting although the colour image is certainly striking and really shouts at you from the screen.


My initial thoughts on this exercise were realised in that I wonder whether my rhythm image is sufficiently strong to satisfy the requirement.  I am also beginning to question whether my pattern image is covering too big an area to properly convey the design element.  However, this has given me further ideas for the assignment images so perhaps it has achieved its aim as an exercise.  In particular I would like to find one of nature’s patterns to photograph.

Reference List:

Freeman, M. (2007) The photographer’s eye: composition and design for better digital photos. Lewes: The Ilex Press Limited

Freeman, M. (2013) The photographer’s eye: a graphic guide. Lewes: The Ilex Press Limited

Prakel, D. (2012) Basics photography 01: composition. Second edition. Lausanne. AVA Publishing SA