Alfred Stieglitz, From My Window at the Shelton, North, 1931
Line: A line is one-dimensional and can vary in width, direction, and length. Lines also can define the edges of the form. Lines can be horizontal, vertical, and diagonal, straight or curved, thick or thin. Lines lead your eye around the composition.
This represents line because the first thing you notice when you see the picture is the height of the building and how straight it is. This photo is successful because it really makes the building stand out. The straight line also is very pleasing to the eyes.
Sandy Skoglund, The Invisible Man, 1986
Color: Color has three main characteristics: hue (red, yellow, and green), value (how dark or light it is), and intensity (how bright or dull it is). Colors can also be described as warm (red and yellow), or cool (green and blue).
Furthermore, monochromatic- one color plus its tints (adding white) and shades (adding black)
Complimentary colors: colors opposite each other on the color wheel (ex. Green and Red)
Analogous colors: colors next to each other on the color wheel
This photo is a perfect example of color because the first thing your eyes are attracted to when they look at this photo is the bright yellow walls. This photographer does an amazing job at this in every photograph, and that is what makes the photos so successful.
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, A. II (Construction A II), 1924
Shape: Shape is two-dimensional, with a height and width
Organic Shape: A shape made by nature, not completely defined.
Inorganic Shape: manmade-such as triangles and rectangles
This photograph represents Shape so well. There is an overload of shapes in this picture and all of the inorganic shapes make it very unique. This is also how the picture is so successful.
Ansel Adams, Clearing Winter Storm, 1944
Form: Three dimensional, has height, width, and depth
Photographers emphasize form by the use of highlights and shadows.
When you look at the picture to the left, it makes you feel like you are right there in the forest, looking at the amazing mountains. Ansel Adams is known for these type of pictures, and looking at this photograph it is very obvious why he is so successful.
Matt Black, The Geography of Poverty, 2014
Texture: The surface quality of an object that we sense through touch. All objects have physical texture
In a two dimensional work, texture gives a visual sense of how an object depicted would feel like in real life if you were to touch.
I love this picture because of how many details it has. The details bring the texture come out. Matt Black's photo is so successful because it seems like you can feel what is being taken.
Josef Koudelka, Slovakia, 1958
Space: Real space is three dimensional. Space in a work of art refers to a feeling of depth or three dimensional. It can also refer to an artist’s use of the area around the picture plane.
Positive Space: Space occupied by primary object.
Negative Space: Space around the primary object
When you look at this photography, you immediately notice the negative space between the left side of the photo and the animal. What is very amazing about this photograph is the fact that there is space between the animal and the side, and also the mountain and the front of the lens.
Benjamin Von Wong, Weather Change Don't Care About What You Wear, 2014
Value: Value is the lightness or darkness of a surface. It is frequently used when talking about shading, but also important in the use of shading
Value usually occurs when there is a very intense shade in the picture. The only sense of light in the picture comes from the clothing idem and the bit of light peaking through the back.
Clark Little, Honu Kiss, 2013
Balance: Is similar to our physical sense of balance. It is how the artist uses opposing forces in a composition that results in visual stability.
Most successful compositions achieve balance in one of two ways: Symmetrically (the same on both sides, like a butterfly wing) or asymmetrically.
This photograph represents balance because if you took this picture and cut it in half, it would be two balanced proportions. I understand why this photography is successful because it is very pleasing.
Jimmy Chin, Home, 2014
Proportion: Relates to the relative size and scale of the various elements in a design. Specifically, the relationship between the objects.
With the large mountain and the smaller man, that is why this is a perfect photograph for proportion. It is successful because it is an unbelievable sight.
Robert Capa, Running for Shelter, 1936
Rhythm: An artwork indicates movement by the repetition of elements. Rhythm can make an artwork seem active.
This photograph looks like it is moving. That is what makes photos with rhythm unique and successful. It looks like the camera is focused on her journey.
Steven McCurry, Red Boy, 1996
Emphasis: To make one part of an artwork dominant over the other parts. It attracts the viewer’s eyes to a place of special importance in an artwork.
When you look at this photograph, the first thing you notice are his eyes. Steven McCurry's photographs constantly focus on the eyes of the character in the photograph, and that is one reason why he is so successful.
Joel Meyerowtiz, Provincetown, 1977
Harmony: The pleasing quality achieved by different elements of a composition interacting to form a whole. Harmony is often accomplished through repetition of the same similar characteristics.
This photograph immediately makes you feel happy and loved. The colors and the clouds bring the harmony aspect to it. This photograph is very successful because it is so amazingly pleasing to the eyes.
William Wegman, Youngster, 2005
Variety: Differences achieved by opposing, contrasting, changing, elaborating, or diversifying elements in a composition to add individualism and interest.
This isn't something you see everyday and that is how all of William Wegman's photos are like. That is why he is so successful, and that is why this photograph has a sense of variety.
Mary Ellen Mark, September 11, 2013, 2013
Unity: The result of bringing the elements of art into the appropriate ratio between harmony and variety to achieve a sense of oneness. It is the sense that everything works together and looks like it fits.
This has a complete sense of unity because it is just a simply perfect picture. Everything is in place and has a purpose.