How Geometry Can Literally Shape the Story in Your Images

Leading lines, negative space, rule of thirds, all of these compositional elements are discussed ad nauseam in the world of photography. This short video ignores all that, and instead focuses on a different, but equally powerful element in an image: geometric shapes.

In their latest episode, YouTube show Now You See It breaks down the “meaning” hidden within different geometric shapes, and how they’re used in filmmaking. Make no mistake though, these same rules, the same “stories” that each shape tells, can be put to powerful use in photography as well.

Triangles, squares, and circles; pointy shapes and rounded shapes; parallel lines and, yes, even leading lines. All of them convey a message and help shape the narrative you’re trying to create in your frame.

Whether it’s separation/distance between subjects:


Or a physical representation of imprisonment:


Don’t forget to pay attention to the shapes in your composition. Or, better yet, use them deliberately to tell a more compelling or dynamic story. But first, check out the video at the top to take a deeper dive into the symbolic meaning behind the shapes in imagery.