This article will no doubt be the shortest one I will ever write about image composition as it contains only one, very simple idea. And, that is the number “7”. If you’re like me and tend to see the world around you as shapes and angles when you have a camera in your hands then this should resonate very strongly with you.
Very often geometric shapes and specific types of angles grab our attention. If you want to discover interesting compositions simply look for angles in the image you are considering…and play close attention to seeing if there is a “7” in your scene. Sometimes they are upright, sometimes lying down. You may be surprised at how often this particular type of angle intersection produces very appealing images.
Rather than write any more, I’ll just show you some images and you can be the judge (I’ll give you some hints along the way). There, that’s it. The formal part of the article is over…171 words.
Examples of Shape Seven in Composition
A whole row of 7’s going up the railing…
Can you see it behind the donkey’s head, entering its mouth and exiting its ear?
Look up the infinity pool then to the left when you come to the over-the-water bungalows and follow it to the break between the buildings…
An obvious one in the smoke…
This one joins the berries and points to the beetles…
The curve in the beach…
This one’s more subtle as it changes colour…do you see it?
Go up the edge of the infinity pool then take the bridge to the bungalows…
Go up the path and turn left on the bridge…
Along the beach to building then to the left until the water starts…
This one is lying down…
Many bird neck/head angles have it…
Article and all images Copyright 2014, Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, reproduction or duplication including electronic is allowed without written consent.
Very interesting like most of your articles.Thanks.
Glad you found it of interest George!
you my friend, must be very bored. lol.
Hi skeptical 1,
Thanks for the positive comment…appreciated!
Like you I’ve used chevrons in the past…hmmm…sixes and A’s sound intriguing….I will have to open up my eyes to other possibilities!
Another cool article. I am always doing this with chevrons, sixes, and A’s. Dunno how compelling A’s are, but the process of looking for them leads to some interesting angles.
On another front, I love the donkey picture! Perfect eyes and a wonderful expression. …
Very interesting article. Thank you.
I’m glad you found it interesting :-)
i cant see the seven on the railing in the first photo. in the second and 3rd too, i cant appreciate a 7.
Hi Muhammad Omer,
Many times we perceive things differently when looking at the same image…so not to worry! Seeing the ‘7 shape’ in most of the other images illustrates the concept. If you like the notion, give it a try. If not…then there are many other approaches you can use for your images. Photography is a subjective art and what works for one person may not be a useful concept for another.
thanks for replying Thomas, wonderful images as always.
Great article great photos no words enough to describe the superb ness
Please keep it up
Thanks for the positive comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the article and images.
What a great concept. I shall see 7’s wherever I go. Oh yes I like the tick box (not a spammer). It is much better than those ridiculous jumbled up words or letters.
I usually use a ‘soft eyes’ approach when out ‘shooting for fun’ which helps me see angles and shapes. By ‘soft eyes’ I mean not focusing on anything in particular and purposely trying to take as much visual information in at one time. It seems to help me recognize angles and shapes in scenes. Give the approach a try and see if it also works for you.
Isn’t this another name for “leading lines”?
The “7” just implies the importance of leading to “something”.
Otherwise it would be a post about the number “1”
The “7” shape can appear in a wide range of places in an image. Many can, and do, form leading lines but they don’t have to do so. The key is the abrupt angle at the end of the stem of the “7” and the visual tension that it creates, drawing a viewer’s eye to it.
Lovely photo’s as usual !!
My V2 has just arrived and I love it – much easier than the V1. Are you shooting RAW and what are you using to process?
Yes, I always shoot in RAW and process for articles here on Photography Life. I use DxO OpticsPro 9 as my raw converter, export a DNG into CS6 and then Nik Suite for final adjustments.
It obviously works well – great vibrant sharp colours.
Thank Bob! I think choice of software is a personal issue, and what works well for one person may not for another.