Assignment: triangles

In the irregular postings of photo assignment walks, today’s topic is on triangles. I went for an hour walk, looking for triangles. They are relatively easy to spot, but getting a good photo brought me back to the theme that a photo should clearly show the one idea that you are trying to present. I’ll start with a few duds and then move to the better examples.

"A" from a street sign
What do you see here, an “A” or a triangle? Due to a lifetime of training, it is harder to see the abstract shape because there is a meaning to the shape. People from an area where the alphabet does not contain this shape would have an easier time seeing the triangle.
Car wheel with triangular shapes in the wheel
Since I was looking for triangles, I saw them. Upon looking at the resulting photo though, the circle dominates.
tabgle of branches in a cottonwood
At the extreme of bad, the triangle(s) in this image completely get lost.
utility pole and power lines
This is an example that better shows the concept of “triangle”.
triangles on a concrete sound wall
These are also clear triangles in a simple composition.

At the conclusion of this walk, I might see triangles more now. While I already knew that a photo has to do a good job of conveying the idea I am presenting, this exercise really reinforced this concept. It is why I regularly ask myself, “What am I trying to show with this picture?”. I can then use the answer to choose how to compose and expose the image.


Two things recently came together: I need to raise my exercise (as most Americans do), and I want to improve my ability to see. I like going for walks, so I am taking my camera with me and applying a theme to the walk.

Today’s theme was patterns. First I had to figure out what is a pattern? I decided that a pattern is three or more repetitions of a theme. I decided that three was the minimum; you might have an argument that two is sufficient. I also think that the “theme” part is important—A pattern does not need an identical repetition, as long as the theme is clear.

I also decided that I did not want to futz with the camera, so I simply set it on P so I could focus on the pattern and not the exposure. All I did was ensure that I captured the pattern in the camera. And, I was pleasantly surprised that the camera did a reasonably good job.

In looking at the photos and doing web image searches, I think that a pattern by itself is less interesting, but can give the impression that something repeats forever. When something breaks the pattern, that draws the eye, and this makes the image more interesting to me.

Here are a few of today’s patterns. Are they clear to you? What do you think about the place where the pattern breaks? What would you do differently?

The plant does not place the areolas at exactly regular locations. Does this help or hinder?
I purposely placed the wires diagonally. I think that a hawk on the upper arm would complete the picture, but alas, none were around to assist me.
I find an interesting tension between the two holes. Does it work for you, or do you think one hole is better?
Also, the insulators have their own patterns