Identifying Elements of Photography



Throughout my own photos, many elements can be pointed out. To learn and improve my photographic skills, I need to identify the elements that show up in my work.

The Elements of Photography


  • The lines that go through the pictures lead the viewer’s eyes through the photo.


  • This element is all about the shapes that take up space in the picture.
    • Organic shapes are designs found in nature like leaves and plants.
    • Geometric shapes are basic shapes such as squares and triangles.


  • This the space within the frames of the photo.
    • Positive space is the space that the subject of the photo takes up.
    • Negative space is the space around the subject.


  • How the blacks, whites and the grays in between are used in the picture.


  • How the surfaces of the subject matter are portrayed in the photo.


  • How the colors complement or contrast with one another in the photo.

My Photographs and Element


Captured by David Grimmett

In this picture, there are several elements of photography.  The bright colors of the background focus to the mountains in the background. The hills in the foreground create a frame for the mountains to sit on; It would be classified as negative space. There is some contrast in value between the foreground and the subject. The brush on the hill and the coniferous trees poking up into the skyline add beautiful texture to the image.

Captured by David Grimmett 

The gorgeous water flowing over these rocks creates a feeling of motion. The viewer would want to follow the action back to the source. The shape of the water is definitely organic but the shape of the rocks are very geometric with sharp flat edges. The subject of the photo is flowing water which takes up about 2/3 of the picture. The space in the bottom right is negative space, a place for the viewer’s eyes to rest.

Captured by David Grimmett

I like this picture because there is a lot of repetition and similarity between shapes and color. The organic shape of flowers is pleasing to be and easy on the eye. Notice that only a handful of flowers near the center of the photo are in focus. This draws the viewer’s eyes to this point. They yellow contrasts with the green throughout the photo which helps the flowers stick out.


I’m still an amateur and hope to learn and better understand the elements of photography. Constructive criticisms are always welcome. Is there anything I can improve upon?

These pictures were taken with a Nikon 3400 on May 14, 2017.