Radial Patterns in Composition

Along with repetition, lines and curves, it is also valuable to to look for radial patterns to aid your composition.  Obviously flowers lend themselves well to these kinds of compositions.  But most flower pictures look straight at the flower petals and put the stamen in the center of the frame.  Consider also including only part of the flower to emphasize the designs that interest you most about it.  You can put the center of the flower at an intersection in the rule of thirds, or even put it in the corner of the frame.  Your subject then becomes the radial lines coming from the center of the flower.

Many photographers take pictures of flowers, so it's hard to make a flower picture unique.  Don't limit yourself to a top down view; you may even choose to emphasize the underside of the flower, as in the last photo.  The more you can approach the flower with the patterns in the flower in your mind, the more you'll be able to distinguish your photos from others.  To make the most of radial patterns, try not to think of the boundaries of the flower as important as the design your're trying to achieve.  Select what's important to emphasize and exclude everything else.

Also, the radial pattern does not have to take up the whole frame.  It can be used in part of the frame, as in the photograph below, or it can be repeated multiple times in the frame, as in the photograph to the right.  You can arrange the visual elements of your composition to give you the interpretation of the scene you want to present to your viewers.


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