(click on the image to see larger version)
Most of the time, photographers seek out a single subject to emphasize in the image. Be it a lion on the savanna, a leaf in the snow, or a child chasing a soccer ball we tend to think of photography as being about the subject. There are times, however, when the subject is not an object, but rather the patterns that are revealed as we look through the camera. Patterns can be literal or abstract, but either way they shift focus away from the subject itself and encourage the viewer to see things in a new way.
Successful pattern images tend to fill the frame with the pattern. By extending to the edges of the image, the impression is given that the pattern repeats forever. While this is not really the case, it captures the viewer’s imagination and pulls them into the illusion we are creating.
The image above shows threads of wool mounted on a traditional loom and was created during one of my photo workshops in Otavalo, Ecuador. By zooming in and emphasizing the individual threads, the image becomes about the pattern rather then the loom. The image was created using a Canon 1Ds mark 3, 24-105mm lens (set to 35mm), at 400 ISO. The camera was handheld and lighting was provided by bouncing a Canon 580 EX II speedlight off a nearby wall.