Focusing on Pattern and Texture

Creative exercise is much like physically working out: it makes you stronger. And one of my favorite creative activities is focusing on a compositional element over the course of a day. On a recent vacation to Monterey, CA, I decided to work on pattern and texture. (What a great place to do so!)

Two Boats

The original shot had more boats in the scene, but the pattern and textures weren't hanging together the way I wanted. When I cropped to just two boats, I thought the image became more powerful.

It's interesting when you begin to look for certain compositional elements. After a while, you'll see them everywhere. When I experience this, I begin to wonder if I should "creatively exercise" more. Should I shoot with a mission in mind instead of just letting the visual world come to me?


Once again, cropping was used to isolate the pattern. There were a few distracting elements just outside this frame that I wanted to eliminate so I could focus the eye more precisely.

The thing about texture and pattern is that it is bountiful in both nature and the manmade world. In both cases, however, beware of distracting elements that disrupt the effect.

Two Pelicans Blue Sky

In this shot, I'm back to two main subjects with a soft textured background. Color helps carry the overall image.

The bottom line here is that by taking time to focus on an aspect of your photography, you can improve it overall. Pattern and texture is a great place to start.

You can see more images from this series in my Flickr set, Pattern & Texture.

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