WEEK 32: B&W – Triangles

This week I want you to look for triangular shapes to include in your photos. Triangles are a powerful shape in photography. When positioned with the point at the top they evoke a feeling of strength and stability. When positioned with the point at the bottom, they look unstable and can introduce some tension into the image. Triangles can be implied or obvious, leaving a lot of room for creativity. I am limiting the photos to B&W this week so that you can focus more purely on the shape.

Kids These Days by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

Kids These Days by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

The photo of the bird above is an example of an implied shape that is formed by drawing lines between the wing tips and the lowest foot. The bird is clearly not a triangle in and of itself, but it’s easy to see the triangle in the gesture that I captured. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the upside-down positioning of the triangle adds to the sense that the bird is off-balance (which it was).

triumph by Magic_Nick

triumph by Magic_Nick

Implied triangles are often used to help identify poses for pleasing portraits. The Mona Lisa is often referenced as a perfect example of this, but there are many poses that create implied triangles. In the photo above, the implied triangle is almost the exact opposite from the bird photo with the base of the triangle formed by drawing a line between the feet and the top of the triangle is the fist in the air. This creates a very solid and strong feeling in the image. For more information on using triangles to pose portraits, check out these links:

Implied triangles can also be used to create a relationship between objects in a photo. This article offers a wonderful explanation of the concept:
Street Photography Composition Lesson #1: Triangles. For example in the photo below, there is an implied triangle between the bicyclist, the person in the crosswalk in the background and the people on the sidewalk. While any one of those points is relatively small in the frame, the triangle between them creates a relationship that makes the photo about the people and not the cars.

Ay Dios Mio! by Tina Leggio

Ay Dios Mio! by Tina Leggio

More obvious triangles can be formed by shadows and/or lines. For example, the shadows in the photo below create very obvious triangles resulting in a very graphical and geometric image.

Two Taos Triangles by Andy Smith

Two Taos Triangles by Andy Smith

Likewise, leading lines can create obvious triangles in a composition.

Triangle 都會公園站 by 威典 李

Triangle 都會公園站 by 威典 李

Another way of creating obvious triangles is through perspective. I love the strong graphical nature of the following image. The triangles are created in part by light & shadow, but also by the perfect positioning of the camera looking up at the corner of a building, i.e. perspective.

Triangles by Lucas Weber

Triangles by Lucas Weber

This week’s challenge:

  • Take a photo that includes either obvious or implied triangles. I encourage you to practice “seeing” triangles around you before pulling out your camera. (Given that only one of the example photos is my own, I know that this is not a natural shape for me to see, much less photograph. I definitely need practice!)
  • Your final image should be a B&W grayscale image. You can come to that image any way that you would like from capturing B&W in camera to converting in post-processing.
  • Don’t ignore proper exposure, contrast and composition which are especially important in a B&W image.

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to our active community on our Facebook GroupFlickr Groupor 500PX group (or all three). Tag the photo:  #10thanniversaryphotochallenge #2018photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2018 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.


About thedigitaljeanie

I’m a self-taught photographer and way back when I used to love taking photos, but I allowed a business that I started in 2004 to take over my life and my photographic repertoire was reduced to quick product shots and how-to tutorials. When I joined the PhotoChallenge in December 2015, I was looking to rekindle my creativity and bring some joy back into my photography. I jumped in with both feet and have not looked back. I believe that photography can change the way we see and interact with the world around us. Some people may think that I hide behind the camera, but I feel that I experience the world in a much more intimate way when I am creating a composition in my viewfinder. In those moments distractions disappear, my mind focuses and I am fully present. It is just me and my camera capturing a moment in time that might otherwise go unnoticed. My background is as varied as the photos that I take. I’ve trained and worked as a software engineer, a massage therapist, an English teacher in Vietnam, a photo restoration artist (which is how I learned Photoshop) and for the past twelve years I have run a small software business with my husband where I have been published in numerous books and magazines, appeared on PBS television, created designs for fabric, quilts and machine embroidery and won awards for some of my quilts. It should come as no surprise that I am intensely curious about life and love to learn new things. I am blessed to live in the beautiful state of Colorado, USA in the Rocky Mountain foothills outside of Fort Collins with my husband and cat. You can find me online at: Photos: flickr.com/photos/the-digital-jeanie/ Day job: KaleidoscopeCollections.com Facebook: facebook.com/jeaniesa

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