True and perceived geometry in photography

The dynamism and much of the ability to catch the attention of the observer to photographs generally depends heavily on true and perceived geometric elements of the photographs.

It is no wonder that great masters of photographic art have already written their thoughts on this aspect. I quote only one from Master Henri Cartier-Bresson:

“For me the camera is a sketch-book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decide simultaneously.
In order to ‘give a meaning’ to the world, one has to feel oneself involved in what one frames through the viewfinder.
This attitude requires concentration, a discipline of the mind, sensitivity, and the SENSE of GEOMETRY. “

Henry Cartier-Bresson
Henri Cartier-Bresson

Note the beautiful geometric shapes of this magnificent composition that is brightened by the various doors in the captured scene.

Geometric elements include various features such as symmetry, shapes, convergent lines, parallel lines, intersecting lines, patterns, perspectives, and so on. Attention should also be paid to circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, etc.

When observing the great work in the photograph of Cartier-Bresson it is noticed that its elements of geometry are ‘perceived geometric elements’ which is something (very) difficult to reach in the photograph. All these elements act in conjunction with other details of the photograph which yields a final composition more attractive to the eyes of the observer.

I have over the years trained my eyes in trying to perceive and see the so-called ‘true and perceived geometry’ in photography.


We all know that this is not an easy task. The photos of this series I present here are from my files and have been compiled for this post in this theme. Hope you like it!!!

Published by Antonio Mozeto

I'm an amateur photographer based in the city of São Carlos, São Paulo state, SE Brazil. I used to make photographs since I was about 15-17 years old. My first camera was a Olympus Trip, an analogue camera. Many years after that I switched to several digital cameras. Presently I own a Nikon D500 with a small set of lenses and a Fujifilm X100T 23mm. A few years after my retirement as an university professor, after teaching Environmental Chemistry at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) for 45 years, I decided to invest money and time dedicating myself more seriously to photography. I´ve taken on-line courses as well as I´ve participated to various photography festival across Brazil. By far, my biggest interest is street photography. And in it, I'm interested in portraits, everyday street scenes and architecture.

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