Ready to Play Street Photography Tetris?


As strange as this sounds, but "Street Photography Tetris" massively improved my street photography composition. Here's how you do it:

Treat your frame like the playing field in Tetris. However, you control 100% which pieces fall into it. I'd suggest to start the game in "easy mode" with basic geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles and triangles. Of course, feel free to go all in right away with any geometric form you can think of or discover on the way.

Your goal is to make these geometric forms part of your street photography composition. Geometric forms have three major benefits for your composition:

1) They structure the frame for your viewers

2) They create a sense of harmony and order

3) They make your photos more creative and exciting 

  Zig Zag  by  Vijce  | Amsterdam, 2016

Zig Zag by Vijce | Amsterdam, 2016

It's important to get sense for them first. I'd kindly ask you to look up from your phone, laptop or table right now. Do you see any geometric forms next to you? Walk around a bit and move your head up, down, left and right to sharpen your eye for them.

It's really important to keep in mind that your frame is also either a rectangle or a square. You can use the 4 sides to create parallels with your geometric forms.

Before this starts sounding like math class, Iet me show you some examples where I've used them for my street photography:


Geometry Example 1

  Untitled  by  Vijce  | Barcelona, 2013

Untitled by Vijce | Barcelona, 2013

The street photo above shows a bunch of rectangles and one gigantic triangle. The triangle splits the frame in half and guides the viewer to the subject.

To make it even more harmonic, I cropped the photo in a way that the line from the triangle ends in the corner.

Next to the visible rectangles, the eye also finishes the incomplete ones behind the triangle.


geometry Example 2

  Kubrick II  by  Vijce  | Barcelona, 2013

Kubrick II by Vijce | Barcelona, 2013

The street photo above consists of 2 big rectangles that split the frame in the middle. It may not be a perfect line in the middle, but it's close enough for the eye to consider it one.

Besides, there are 4 major triangles that point in the middle of the frame. It's a great way to highlight your subject as much as possible.


geometry Example 3

  Untitled  by  Vijce  | Düsseldorf, 2013

Untitled by Vijce | Düsseldorf, 2013

This photo is packed with a broad range of triangles, rectangles and a parallelogram on the right. Although there are so many different geometrical forms, it feels so harmonic together.

The most obvious ones are the two big triangles that split the frame in half. Besides, the great number of rectangles in the background really contributes to the details.


Turn your next photo walk into a tetris walk

In order to discover and use these shapes for your street photography, you need to train your eye and mind. The more you observe and shoot them, the better your street photos will become. At a certain point, they will just pop out automatically when you're looking around.

Of course, you can use all sorts of shapes like circles, cylinders, dots and lines as well. The more shapes you see, the more you can use for your street photos! 

But don't forget to give yourself a break every once in a while... don't want to get "Tetris Syndrome", right?

  MAXIMINIMAL  by  Vijce  | Sydney, 2014

MAXIMINIMAL by Vijce | Sydney, 2014