Breaking Structured Patterns

 

Patterns are lovely to behold, but even their repeating lines and curves can get quite monotonous. Therefore, you need to learn how to break patterns without taking away the aesthetic appeal of the frame.

The distinct shape of the bird makes for a wonderful break in the sharp repeating lines formed by the reeds and stalks of grass. Photograph/Saibal Gupta.

The distinct shape of the bird makes for a wonderful break in the sharp repeating lines formed by the reeds and stalks of grass. Photograph/Saibal Gupta.

Employing Striking Colours
Imagine a field of red flowers. All that you would see is endless rows of red. However, one yellow flower in this sea of red would immediately catch your attention and break the monotony of repetition. Similarly, once you have identified a pattern, you can look for a different coloured object which will create a point of interest in the composition—a red flower on a bed of dry, yellow leaves, a tiny red ladybug in a frame filled with stalks of green grass, a yellow ball lying on brown sand or even a green leaf among golden stalks of wheat.

The silver of the car and the white of the road markers contrast well with the overall warm, orange landscape. Photograph/Raj Lalwani.

The silver of the car and the white of the road markers contrast well with the overall warm, orange landscape. Photograph/Raj Lalwani.

Including a Distinct Shape
Including one or more shapes that are distinct from the overall pattern in the frame can also help you achieve graphic shots. Sometimes, you might need to wait for the shape or the object to enter the frame such as a hand reaching out to pick a bottle from a row of tall bottles, a man walking across an empty meadow or a puff-like cloud wafting across an otherwise static horizon. However, in some instances, you might need to recompose the frame to include a distinct shape that is present in the surroundings such as a horizontal branch jutting out in front of clumps of vertical trees, a cottage among skyscrapers, a torn poster in a row of colourful posters, a hole in a brick wall and so on.

The striking yellow fl ower breaks the overall grey and white monotones of the image. Photograph/Arun Nayak.

The striking yellow flower breaks the overall grey and white monotones of the image. Photograph/Arun Nayak.

Using Light to Create a Diversion
Besides shapes and colours, you will find that the unpredictable temperament of light might help you break patterns as well. A ray of light might suddenly shine on a sculpture inside a ruin; a spot of light reflected off a puddle might enliven an otherwise dull wall or a sharp shadow cast by branch might split the repetitive pattern of a tree’s bark. Similarly, a pedestrian’s shadow might help break the pattern of paver blocks. Often, while shooting outdoors, you might spot an unexpected beam shining through a thicket of trees or cutting across a reflection.

 

Tags: aesthetics, break, colour, curves, distinct, Graphic, light, lines, monotony, patterns, shapes, temperament, unpredictable