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Food For Digital Thought: How I Apply the Use of Gestalt in my Photography

Do you see a triangle?

Do you see a triangle?

I teach three online classes with the BPSOP, and I also conduct my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops around our planet. In my part I class we work on incorporating the basic elements of Visual Design and composition into their imagery, and one of them is Shape.

Circles, squares, rectangles and triangles are the basic shapes, and when you create photos using these shapes, they will definitely take your pictures what I refer to as “up a notch”.

One of the classes I teach is on the Psychology of Gestalt, and during this four week class, we work on the six basic principles in this theory. One of them is called Closure, and it’s about letting the viewer fill in the missing pieces you’ve laid out in the form of a puzzle.

Where am I going with this? Think about combining what’s learned in my part I class as far as the triangle is concerned with what you learn in my Gestalt class as far as Closure is concerned and you have the gist of what goes through my thought process when I’m making my pictures.

What I mean is this: I show my fellow photographers a series of diagrams I’ve collected over the past thirty years, that I’m always thinking about when I’m out shooting. One of them I call my PacMan diagram, and it’s to show how we can fill in the missing pieces whether it be in a diagram or a photograph.

Do you see a triangle?

Do you see a triangle?

After looking at the PacMan diagram and the above photo, you can start to see how I use certain methods to keep the viewer as active participant when he looks at my photos. In the photo of the three men taken in Cuba, the initial processing of the pieces (of the final puzzle) will be of three waiters. From that he’ll  fill in the missing and implied lines that connects the three men and will perceive a triangle…creating a sense of unity and will be viewed as one.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my upcoming workshops. Come shoot with me sometime. In conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be leading a group to Cuba for the third time next March. Come join me in what I’ll guarantee you to be an amazing experience, and you’ll return home with memorable photos from a wonderful country.

Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com and I’ll create a video critique for you.


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