Exercise – Rhythms and patterns
Repetition has a peculiar but generally very strong appeal, particularly when it is unfamiliar to the viewer. There is some connection here with one of the basic pleasures in music: there is a visual beat to pictures containing a repetitive theme, just as there is a musical beat. Visually, repetition comes across in two ways: as rhythm and as pattern. the difference between them is that rhythm is to do with movement across a picture (or more properly, the movement of the eye through a picture) while pattern is essentially static and has to do with area. In a more technical way, you could think of these as dynamic repetition and spatial repetition.
For this exercise i am to produce two photographs which convey both rhythm and pattern.
Below, see my example of pattern. I was careful with the focal length and distance from the subject in such a way that i have shown no boundaries to the pattern. As patterns work strongly when they fill the frame, so that the eye can imagine them continuing well beyond what can be seen.
Below, now see my example of rhythm. For this shot, sequence was a key element in the picture so that the eye would follow a direction and experience an optical beat. I found this image to work really well, as when i look at it i find myself following the sequence by looking at the closest rail first and following the sequence into the shot, but then my eye automatically follows it back out and repeats the process, almost 3d like. Even thought this is a simple image, i think that it shows rhythm well.