Formal elements of photography


  • Vertical, horizontal, diagonal, curved.
  • Lines could be argued that they are the strongest and most important.
  • If we have no lines then we have no shape, no shape means no form, no form means no texture and no texture means no pattern.


  • Shape is the second most fundamental element.
  • The shape needs to be in strong contrast with is surroundings, silhouette’s are a good example.


  • 3 dimensional shape .
  • Difference between light and shadows illustrate the depth of an object.


  • Helps move your emotions.
  • Light will help create texture, this can help your picture come alive.


  • There are only two things to do with pattern. First you can either work with the pattern (emphasise) or you can break the pattern with a contrasting object.


  • Colour is characterized by hue and saturation.
  • Different colours send out different emotions.
  • Warm colours: red, orange, pink
  • Cold colours: blue, green, grey


  • The are around the subject.
  • Positive space means the subject is surrounded with other things (clutter).
  • Negative space means the subject is surrounded with simple background elements e.g. ocean, sunset.

Rule of thirds:

This picture was taken from google.

rule-of-thirds Each section is a focus point.





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