Using Triangles to Create More Dramatic Compositions

We’ve talked about different compositional tools before, like symmetry, negative space and framing. Today, we’re gonna explore another way to improve your compositions: triangles. While symmetry helps create calm, zen-like compositions, triangles help add unbalance and drama to your images.

In architecture, you can find triangular shapes in buildings, like the image below. The triangle is already there, you just have to capture it. 

The example below is from the Amazon building in Seattle. The canopy has a number of triangular shapes and isolating a single triangle created this dramatic composition:

While it’s easy to find some triangular shapes, you can also create them framing your images in a certain way. In the image below, the triangles are created by simply tilting the camera, thus putting a line in the corners.

Here are two more examples where framing creates multiples triangles. The first image is symmetrical and straight-on, so it creates a nice balance between drama and zen. The second image is shot a 45-degree angle to create an unbalanced composition full of triangles (seriously, try to count them!).

Triangles are a simple, yet powerful, tool to create compelling compositions. Keep an eye on triangular shapes and take the time to frame carefully to create interesting shapes.



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