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How To Use Patterns & Repetition In Your Photography

When you're out on a day trip or on your two-week annual holiday and are looking for some photographic inspiration, have a walk around and start shooting patterns, we'll guarantee you'll soon become addicted.

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1. What Gear Do I Need?

A standard lens or something with a slightly more length can make isolating detail easier while a tripod will help you make sure everything is aligned and straight. 


2. What Should I Look For? 

Patterns are everywhere, you just have to look carefully at what you're photographing. You may find it a little difficult at first but once you've trained your eye, you'll see patterns all over. Try and search for single items that are repetitive such as a row of windows or a more random pattern such as apples in a basket.

Here are just a handful of places to look for patterns:

  • Buildings – windows, doors, steps, columns, roof tiles, brickwork, whole buildings if you can find a good location to shoot from.
  • Markets – gift shops, stalls selling fruit, veg etc.
  • Beach – stones, patterns in the sand, pebbles, seaweed
  • Sky – clouds, flocks of birds flying overhead


Windows on a building


3. Where Should I Stand? 

If possible, stand straight-on to the surface you're photographing and make sure the patterns straight. This will help turn distant shapes into the patterns you're looking for. If you can, get up high as you'll be able to photograph roof tiles then back on the ground take a look at what's under your feet as floor tiles and bricked pavements will create interesting patterns that are worth photographing. If you can't get straight on to your subject don't worry; shooting from a slight angle gives you the chance to use a little blur to guide the eye to a certain part of the image. You do this by adjusting the aperture, shooting wide open.

4. Crop In Where Possible 

The key to a successful pattern shot is to make sure there's nothing around it that would distract the viewer away from it so move your feet to get close or use your zoom to fill the frame. If it's not possible to crop in camera you can always open your images up in the editing software you use and use the crop tool.

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kab0811 8 2 United States
29 Jun 2017 5:41PM
Another great bunch of Tips for appealing photographs. Geometry is a part of everyday life and is so basic to architecture. I attended an annual meeting sponsored by our State Senator held in the 1917 Missouri State Capital building in Jefferson City, MO. I remembered this June subject and captured a couple of images that apply.
kab0811 8 2 United States
29 Jun 2017 5:42PM
kab0811 8 2 United States
29 Jun 2017 5:43PM
franken Plus
19 5.5k 4 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2018 8:04AM


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