Lens-Artists Challenge #174 – Shapes and Designs
“You are the conductor – Your orchestra are shapes, textures, stories, objects, patterns, emotions, design, moments, depth, focus rhythm, shades, color, movement and light. It is your performance. It is your vision.”Steve Coleman
This week we are invited to illustrate shapes and design – all elements we enjoyed seeing in your responses to last week’s architecture challenge. Thinking further about some of the aspects of structures that draw our eye, we are most certainly attracted by distinct shapes. Mother Nature seems to understand this perfectly. The beautiful and always identifiable shape of the starfish with its perfect 5-sided symmetry is a great example of design intricacy. I made the image above after a storm here on Kiawah, when many of such compositions were left by the wind and tides. Clearly Mother Nature was having fun with her design skills that morning.
“For me, the meaning of design is to give soul to objects by Art. Art needs to be in every part of daily life, not only in the galleries and museums.”Baris Gencel
Sometimes artists choose to depict Mother Nature’s art within their own works. In the example above (captured on a street corner in Arizona) the artist has designed multiple oblong screens working together to depict the beauties of the night sky of Arizona’s desert. Fortunately we were stopped at a street light on that corner so I was able to quickly compose an image on the fly.
“Cartier-Bresson’s decisive moment comes when ‘the picture in one glance says everything and says it in terms of design, rhythm, pattern – every element in strong relationship with all the others.”Margaret R. Weiss
The Somesville Bridge just outside of Acadia National Park in Maine is the most photographed bridge in the state. Taking full advantage of the reflections that occur most times of day in the Somes Creek below, it presents us with several shapes and a beautiful design.
“For me, a great image involves a combination of strong content and excellent design.”
Mary Ellen Mark
In China there is an amazing dichotomy between areas like the Pudong district I featured in last week’s post, and ancient areas that house beautiful designs such as in the Dragon Wall above. Built by a son for his father in the 1500s, the walls are an important part of the Yu Gardens in old city Shanghai. Hard to believe that the ancient gardens and the futuristic Pudong district co-exist peacefully in the same city!
“Basic geometric shapes communicate universal qualities common to all cultures. Practical design integrates them appropriately.”Maggie Macnab
I cannot imagine a better example of basic geometric shapes integrating into a beautiful design than the El-Jazzar Mosque (aka the White Mosque or the Great Mosque) in the ancient city of Acra, Israel. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site , notable for its excavated crusader ruins both above and below street level.
“I believe in the photographer’s magic – the ability to stir the soul with shape and color.”Amy Nasser
In Buenos Aires I was taken by the beautiful design of the four adjacent doors shown above. Each was made of the same shapes but with very slightly differing designs. Perhaps they were originally meant to be identical but over time have morphed into something unique. In either case they drew my eye with their lovely shapes and colors.
“Start looking at the world in a different way. Look at everyday objects, at their design, their shape, their individual characteristics. Think ahead and imagine their significance.Martin Parr
Finally, in the images above and below, a visual statement on the importance of shapes in design. The image above, clearly man-made, is from a California botanical garden while below, the stunning blossom could only have been designed by Mother Nature. The third and final image illustrates how the latter, combined with the former, can create a stunning result. Clearly, the integration of shapes into design – natural, man-made, or a combination thereof – has a significant influence on the beauty of the end product.
“Writers of light transform shape, line, color, pattern – passionless components – into photographs that grasp, delight, repulse, or inspire. Their work bestows life“Anonymous
“For anyone who wants to become a serious and creative photographer; go to the best school of design you can get into. Go to museums. That’s what will teach you how to see, how to compose, and how to think visually.”Bernard Wolf
Sincere thanks to those who responded to last week’s Interesting Architecture challenge – your amazing variety of examples gave us all a new appreciation for the work of architects old and new, nearby and worlds away. Thanks also to Patti for this week’s Shapes and Design challenge. Be sure to link your responses to her original challenge here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to appear in our reader. Finally, we are excited to announce that next week’s challenge will be guest-hosted by Lindy LeCoq. Be sure to visit her blog here to catch us next week. In the meanwhile, as always, please stay safe and be kind.