Design Principles Part II: Design

I decided that I needed to revisit some of the best photography books I had read. And where else to start but with my first love, Michael Freeman?

In an homage to this must read book, The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos, I am publishing a series of six posts on the great lessons I learned while I read it once again.

Part II: Design

As much as the frame is the container (see Part I: The Frame), design elements are the content. Maybe, this is not quite accurate, because the frame is as important as design elements. Design principles exist to assist you in placing the graphical elements that are covered in Part III: Graphical Elements (Coming soon).


Hard, soft, shapes, colors, concepts, you decide, but contrasts work as with this picture of silo #5 in the old port of Montréal.


Not necessarily symmetry, but equilibrium and zen like feeling. Like this begging lady, her misery against the little money she receives – a balance exists.


Either by adding motion to a still image or by providing a repeating, almost musically repeating pattern. The sun shades on this beach create a harmonic in the eye.

Pattern and Texture

This is a big one. The repetition of many create a pattern, the texture of your subject adds an almost tactile feeling to your pic. This picture of the downtown Montréal Dorchester park exhibits some pavement pattern and foliage texture.

Perspective and Depth

Brings the viewer into the frame, into your story. Here, the lens and the view width changes that story, as in this picture of a local store in Tuscany – notice how deep you can see into the store while you the viewer clearly know that it is sitting at the window frame.

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2 Responses to Design Principles Part II: Design

  1. Pingback: Design Principles: A Photography Tutorial and Homage to Michael Freeman |

  2. Vincent F says:

    Great post and great pictures!

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