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Repeated Pattern: Best Composition Tools



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repeated pattern of water fountain at union station in kansas city

A repeated pattern is one of my favorite composition tools that I often use to elevate my photography. Repeated patterns can occur naturally or can be “manmade,” but in either case, it occurs when an element is repeated throughout the frame of a photographic image. It can be repeated once or multiple times. In the shot above of the fountains, the reflection creates a pattern that gives a beautiful symmetry to the composition.

Below, a similar shot taken at Crystal Bridges Museum shows how using a reflection can create an interesting pattern. Imagine those same shot cut in half, eliminating the pattern. I can imagine it a less compelling image.

Exterior shot of Crystal Bridges Great Hall at night

A repeated pattern doesn’t have to be the subject of an image. In fact, some of my favorite images use patterns to lead into a subject. The image of Ellie below shows exactly what I mean. Notice the dots are in a perfect pattern leaning into her. Using this composition tool is a perfect way to lead the viewer’s eye into the subject of the image.

A lot of times I use the repeated pattern technique to photograph details on the wedding day. Perfectly placed chairs are my favorite.

If you like tips like this, check out 3 of my favorite composition tools. I also have more examples of repeated pattern in this post on how to take great food photos.

Talk to you soon,

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