8 Pattern Photography Styles to Inspire You

Discover the mesmerizing world of pattern photography; intricate designs hidden in plain sight. But what mysterious patterns have we overlooked? Dive in...
Date Published
March 3, 2024

Table of Contents

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Ever stared at a photo and felt a strange tickle in the back of your mind, like your brain just went on a rollercoaster through an optical illusion? That, my friend, is the seductive power of pattern photography, a world where repetition, symmetry, and balance don't just whisper; they shout. In this corner of the photography universe, the ordinary—think an endless stretch of windows on a building or the rhythmic ripples on a sandy beach—transforms into extraordinary visual symphonies. So buckle up as we delve into the hypnotic realm of pattern photography, unraveling the definition of pattern in photo composition and understanding how balance becomes the unsung hero of eye-catching imagery.

What exactly is pattern photography

Imagine you're walking down the street and see a row of bright, colorful umbrellas all in a perfect line. You snap a picture because something about it just feels right. That, my friend, is pattern photography in action. It's all about finding and capturing the visual rhythms that make your eyes do a happy dance when they spot repetition and consistency in a scene.

So, for the nitty-gritty: what is the definition of pattern in photo composition? Essentially, it's a design element where a repetition of lines, shapes, colors, or textures creates a rhythm within the photograph. This repetition can have a powerful visual impact, creating a sense of harmony and balance that's just pleasing to look at.

Okey-dokey, let’s get a bit more artsy-fartsy here. To really nail pattern photography, you need to understand balance. Balance doesn't mean everything needs to be symmetrical, though symmetry can be a big part of it. It's more about arranging the elements in your shot so the viewer feels like everything is in its right place. You know, not too cluttered in one corner or too empty in another.

Now, don't just run out and shoot any old row of mailboxes! Look for patterns that capture an emotion or tell a story. Maybe it's a field of wildflowers with one red rose, or a sea of smiling faces with one pensive frown. That's when you take a good photo and make it great.

And remember, photography is fun! Play around with angles and perspectives to find the perfect way to present your pattern. When you find it, you'll just know – it’s like fitting the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Go forth and find your groove in the world of pattern photography!

The History and Origin of Pattern Photography

Ever wondered where pattern photography got its start? Iconic pattern photographs that inspire many artists today can trace their roots back to the very beginnings of photography itself. When cameras were just starting to capture the world, pioneering photographers quickly noticed how patterns could turn a simple photo into a hypnotic spectacle.

Let's break it down with some history. In the early 20th century, abstract and geometric forms began to influence the arts like crazy, with famous pattern photography works emerging from this era. Consider the Bauhaus movement, where photographers like László Moholy-Nagy were playing with light and shadow to create stunning, patterned compositions.

Now, when you're flipping through those photography books for inspiration, you're not just looking at pretty pictures. You're witnessing a culmination of ideas that started when photographers decided to ditch the norm and get all artsy with things like repetition and symmetry. So if you're itching to make your own mark, study those who paved the way in pattern photography—break out those iconic shots and let them spark your creative fire.

Architectural Pattern Photography

Bet you never looked at a building and thought, "Wow, that's a stunning pattern!" But guess what? Architectural pattern photography will have you seeing structures in a whole new light! It's all about those lines and patterns that make our jaws drop.

Imagine yourself standing in the middle of a soaring cathedral or gazing up at a skyscraper – that's where you'll find the magic. It's those repeating elements, from windows to staircases, that create visual rhythms you can't ignore. Architectural marvels are not just about "wow" but about "how" – how they can flip your view of the ordinary into something extraordinary.

Here's a tip: to capture symmetry in portrait photography, plant yourself right smack in the center of your architectural muse. Find that sweet spot where lines dance and symmetry sings. Snap that pic and bam! You've got a masterpiece that plays with people's perceptions, turning the world they walk by every day into an unexpected gallery of geometric delights.

Textured surfaces pattern photography

Ever got up close and personal with a rusty old fence or the peeling paint on an abandoned building? There's a hidden world of beauty right there, and it's called textured surfaces pattern photography. This style is all about the gritty and the grainy, the rough and the smooth—like running your fingers over the pages of an old book.

Why does this stuff look so amazing? Because contrasts light up your photos like a Christmas tree. When you combine the rough texture of an old brick with the sleek shine of a modern skyscraper, your photo pops with high contrast textural photography.

Got your camera ready? Great, because it's all about the angles, baby! You want to rake that light across those textures. Side lighting works like a charm to exaggerate every bump, groove, and scratch. It's like Mother Nature's own brand of 3D effect. So go ahead, get out there and turn those plain old contrasting textures for pattern photography into your own work of art. And if you need a nudge in the right direction, this cheeky guide to landscape photography will have you snapping award-worthy pics in no time.

Nature's Pattern Photography

When you turn your lens to the great outdoors, you're in the world where visual patterns in nature photography reign supreme. Are you seeking to capture the natural world designs that Mother Earth has effortlessly tossed around like confetti? Good, you're in the right place!

First things first, the dazzling dance of light and shadow amidst the leaves? That's natural pattern gold. And the ripples on the water, or the fractals in a fern? They're nature's way of showing off her geometry skills. Look closer, and you'll see patterns everywhere in nature; from the spirals of a seashell to the arrangement of petals on a flower.

Here's a tip to make your outdoorsy photos flourish: play with angles. Getting down low can make a pretty mundane forest floor look like an abstract masterpiece. And if you can catch the curl of a wave from the right viewpoint, you're basically the Ansel Adams of water.

Still, why are these patterns so darn popular? Because they make us feel tiny, in a good way. They remind us that we're part of something bigger, a throbbing, thriving ecosystem. Tapping into the visual patterns in nature photography doesn't just make for a stunning gallery, it creates a connection between your viewers and the world around them. Plus, you might just inspire someone to hug a tree, and trees need all the love they can get.

Urban Geometry Pattern Photography

Picture this: You stroll down the bustling city streets, camera in hand—you're on the hunt for those eye-catching patterns in urban photography. It's all about the shapes, my friend—the zigzags of staircases, the repeating rows of windows, the endless rhythm of bricks in the wall. You're not just walking on concrete; you're exploring a jungle of geometry.

Bold lines and shapes define urban geometry pattern photography. It’s like street photography got a makeover—turning the cityscape into a canvas where every line, curve, and angle joins the party. Snapping these visual patterns isn't just about pointing and shooting; it's about seeing the skeleton of the city come alive.

What's the big deal about repetition and structure in photos, you ask? Easy peasy—it's visually gripping. Fans of this style love how it transforms ordinary city elements into extraordinary art. And here's a tip: Look for contrasts and juxtapositions to make those patterns pop. Imagine the grungy texture of a rusty fire escape against the sleek glass of a skyscraper—yeah, that's the ticket!

So, who’s crushing it in this field? Well, think of photographers like Joel Tjintjelaar or Michael Wolf—masters of turning cities into geometric wonderlands. You see? You're not just taking pictures; you're becoming part of a legacy, capturing the silent, yet screaming beauty of urban design.

In the end, it's all about opening your eyes to the matrix of lines and shapes that most folks just pass by. Remember, in the city, art is not where you expect it to be—it's in the crisp edges, the stark shadows, and the patterns that dance before your very lens. Now, grab your camera and let those streets tell their geometric tales.

Abstract forms pattern photography

When you're aceing abstract forms snapshot photography, it's like playing "Hide and Seek" with reality. You're taking everyday objects and giving them a makeover by juxtaposing patterns for a visual punch that can knock your socks off. Got a boring old wall? Wait until the shadows hit it just right—boom! You got yourself a masterpiece that's anything but plain jane.

To nail this rebel art, look for the oddballs in design. A swirl here, a zigzag there. Maybe a bunch of circles gettin’ cozy with some triangles. The less sense it makes, the better! Abstract patterns are the wild child of the photography world, just waiting to show off how quirky they can be. Remember, rules are for sidewalks, not snapshots!

Now get this, your camera is basically a wand, and you're the wizard. Why? Because you can cast a spell with angles and lighting to transform the humdrum into hot-diggity-dawg! Abstract forms pattern photography is so popular 'cause it lets people escape the predictable. Want to create some magic? Try clickin’ a pic of reflections in a building window or the chaos of a paint splatter. It’ll leave folks wondering, “How’d they do that?”

Why is this type of photography good for your soul? 'Cause it's all about freedom and creativity. Your masterpiece doesn't have to look like anything specific, which is pretty liberating. It's a piece of cake to try—just start with stuff around your home or your daily commute and let your imagination run wild. Get inspired by the pros, but don't be shy to march to the beat of your own shutter!

Fashion and Textiles Pattern Photography

So you're into fabrics and that glitzy world of fashion, huh? Then you'd better get your camera ready for some show-stopping pattern photography! Fashion and textiles are like peanut butter and jelly for photographers who dig capturing textures.

In the glossy world of fashion and textiles, patterns are more than just pretty designs. They tell tales of culture, craftsmanship, and oodles of personality. Your mission? To showcase the rich textures and patterns that fabrics bring to the table. Good news: This type of photography can let you flex your creative muscles and make some seriously rad images.

How do you shoot textiles that look like they could strut off the page? Get up close. No, even closer. Capturing textures is all about nailing the details, like the weave of the fabric and that wicked sparkle of the sequin. Lighting's your best friend here; trust me. Make it dance across the textures, and you'll give those patterns the spotlight they deserve.

Why should you care about textile photography? Because it’s like whispering a secret story with every shot. It can ooze luxury or scream edgy street style, depending on the vibe you're after. Fashion moguls and home decor gurus eat this stuff up. So, if you're gunning for the glossy pages or your Insta to pop, mastering textures is key.

Pro tip: Raid the closet, hit the fabric store, or stalk your hipster friend’s eclectic wardrobe. Scrunch, drape, and layer those textures to make a flat photo into a tactile adventure. Your followers won't just see your photo; they'll feel it. And that, my friend, is pure camera magic.

Macro pattern photography

Ready to get up close and personal with some super small wonders? Well, grab your camera because we're diving into the world of macro pattern photography! Here, it's all about those tiny, intricate patterns in close-ups that make you go, "How'd they even see that?"

When you peek through your lens, you'll find a treasure trove of macro patterns in nature photography. I'm talking about dewdrops looking like diamonds on a spider web or the swirls on a snail's shell that could hypnotize you if you stare too long. These shots don't just snap themselves; they take patience, a steady hand, and a love for the little things that make our world pretty darn cool.

Don't just point and shoot willy-nilly, though. Look for the patterns that make your heart do a happy dance. Could be the way leaves vein out like nature's own roadmap or how a butterfly's wings throw shade with patterns not even the grooviest wallpaper can match. To capture these bad boys, you'll need to get closer. Yes, even closer. Like, "Are we about to kiss?" close.

Here's a tip straight from the pros: lighting is your BFF. Get it right, and those patterns will pop like popcorn. And let's not forget about focus. Play around with it—sharp as a tack, soft as a whisper, find what tells your story best.

So, ready to make the small stuff the star of the show? Zoom in on those macro patterns in nature, and show the world there's mega beauty in the mini.

Monochrome pattern photography

Monochrome pattern photography isn't just taking a photo without color. Oh no, it's way cooler than that. You zero in on high contrast patterns in luscious blacks, gleaming whites, and every gray in between, which makes your images pop like bubble wrap at a stress relief convention. Think zebra stripes having a dance-off; it's that kind of vibe.

Trying your hand at monochrome patterning in photography means playing a chess game with shadows and light. Aim for contrasts that are as sharp as your grandma's wit. Best part? You don't need a color palette fancier than a unicorn's wardrobe for it to work. Want to see this style in action? Stare into the abyss of Ansel Adams' legendary landscapes. His work is iconic and a perfect study buddy on crushing the monochrome game.

So, you're all jazzed up and ready to shoot your own? Here's a pro-tip: textures will be your best friend. Look for patterns that tell a story all on their own, like the craggy lines of a leaf or the hypnotic spirals of a staircase. It’s all about that drama, baby!

And why is this style such a big hit? Because monochrome patterns can take a normal picture and transform it into a mysterious beast of artistic prowess. It draws viewers into a game of visual hide-and-seek, where simplicity and complexity waltz around each other like two old school movie stars.

There's a reason monochrome never goes out of fashion—it's timeless, like an old Hollywood classic. So grab your camera and paint with shadows. Make your mark with a monochrome masterpiece that would make the classic greats tip their hats in respect.


Q: What are some examples of pattern photography?

A: Think things like honeycombs, tiled floors, or rows of windows on a building. It's all about repetition and predictability.

Q: Can you give me some pattern photography ideas to try at home?

A: Sure! Check out a stack of books, a collection of colorful dishes, or the same type of flower in a vase. You've got this!

Q: Who are some notable pattern photography artists?

A: Artists like Andreas Gursky and Hiroshi Sugimoto are huge in the pattern photo world. They've got an eye for details!

Q: Can you name some famous pattern photographers?

A: Absolutely! Names like Edward Weston and Gustav Le Gray should be on your radar. They're the stars of pattern snaps!

Q: What does it mean to 'break the pattern' in photography?

A: It's when you throw in something unexpected to spice up your photo. Imagine a red apple in a pile of green ones. Bam, you've got attention!

Q: How do you define 'break the pattern' in photography?

A: It's all about disrupting the repetition. You create a focal point that stands out from the predictable surroundings. That's the secret sauce!

Final Words

So there you have it, your deep dive into the mesmerizing world of pattern photography. From the rich histories behind each shot to the symmetrical lines of architecture and the intricate textures of the natural world, you've now seen how balancing elements can transform an image. You've walked the urban streets and peered into the abstract, found rhythm in fashion, and gathered close-up details that escape the naked eye. Even in a world devoid of color, monochrome patterns stand bold.

Remember, every photo tells a story, and with pattern photography, the narratives are infinite. Keep your eyes open, look for the rhythm in the mundane, and let your creativity flow. You're all set to make your own mark in the expansive canvas of pattern photography. Go on, shoot something that makes the world pause and look a little closer.

Meet the Author
Aria Ohlsson
Aria Ohlsson, the Instagram storyteller extraordinaire, takes you on adventures through her enchanting narratives. An avid hiker, she scales peaks and weaves tales of mountaintop triumphs. When she's not conquering trails, you'll find her immersed in classic novels, finding inspiration for her next tale.
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