Why and How Mastering the Rhythm in Nature Photography

Your passion is nature photography whether it is underwater or terrestrial, animal or landscape.

Have you ever thought about using rhythm in your photographs? This is one of the ways I use to create my art prints. It's a way I use to express emotions or convey messages in my collections.

In this article, I suggest you understand the rhythm to strengthen your images and create interesting photos.

This photograph of sand dunes in California's Death Valley is an example of rhythm in a photograph.
This photograph of sand dunes in California's Death Valley is an example of rhythm in a photograph.

Why Mastering the Photographic Rhythm?

The rhythm in a nature photograph is an essential element.

By combining repetitions and pauses in the construction of the image and composition, you will create a rhythm that will attract the eye of the viewer.

For me, it's an amazing way to build photos that have impact.

It is not easy to create rhythmic photographs and you have to be very resourceful. But the result is often interesting.

Definition of Rhythm

In photography, the rate can be defined by an order, a balance of a work in the proportion and the arrangement of its various components.

A simplified definition of rhythm consists in defining it as a regular and dynamic succession of photographic elements of the same nature.

The rhythm in photography strongly structures an image. It gives him strength and dynamics. Often the rhythm of a photo generates a movement towards an area that is not in the frame.

It is a bit like the out of the frame. It is the viewer who will create the non-visible part of the photo.

How Using the Photographic Rhythm?

You may think like many photographers that architectural photography is the most creative to give a rhythm. Indeed, human constructions such as buildings, walls give tempos to photos. Human constructions are often well organized, straight, repetitive. They naturally give a rhythm.

You have certainly noticed that in nature, it is more difficult to find rhythms because nothing is right. The shapes are more random and more elusive.

I think it takes a lot of ingenuity to find rhythms. The sand dunes in the deserts are perfect examples of rhythmic photographs. If you choose a good point of view, you can get some order with beautiful proportions.

The photography on the surface of the water with waves also provides a good example of rhythms. Waves or wavelets are well-ordered repetitions. They subdivide a composition harmoniously.

The trees of a forest or a wood also constitute a very strong rhythm if they are of the same height or the same size. When the trunks are photographed, they force the watch to go in a given direction.

ême hauteur ou de même taille. Quand les troncs sont photographiés, ils obligent le regarder à aller dans une direction donnée.

Some Examples of Photographs With Rhythm

This photograph of the Grand Canyon in Arizona is an example of a photograph with rhythm.
This photograph of the Grand Canyon in Arizona is an example of a photograph with rhythm.
Black and white photograph of Zabriskie Point in the Valley of Death to illustrate the photographic rhythm.
Black and white photograph of Zabriskie Point in the Valley of Death to illustrate the photographic rhythm.

Do Not Confuse Rhythm and Repetition

Many photographers confuse rhythm with graphic compositions based on pattern repetition. The use of the photographic pattern technique is a form of rhythm. This is only a subset of a more general concept.

Repetition is a graphic technique. The photographic rhythm is a visual approach that allows viewers to see a photograph differently.

The Qualities of Rhythm

If you want to create photographs with rhythms, remember to always order them. This makes reading a lot easier because it is predictable.

The rhythm with a regular interval offers a pleasant reading: decryption is very easy.

The rhythm gives a pleasant sensation to the eyes of a viewer.

The photographic rhythm can be seen as a musical tempo. It is a repetition of objects within a scene.

Colors can transmit a rhythm because the eyes can move from one color to another. But in this case, it is possible to stop anywhere in the image.

The lines, whether horizontal or vertical, can produce rhythms by suggesting movement.

Shapes can also give rhythm as well as textures and graphics.

Remember that the rhythm represents a movement of the eyes of the viewer. He analyzes an arrangement of the photographic elements of the scene. The predictability of the rhythm is achieved when the elements are well arranged in the composition.

Curves are the geometric shapes that have the greatest impact on rhythm. They often give him a feeling of grace, beauty and flexibility.

The rhythms can be progressive. They are obtained by gradation with a gradual increase in size. The best representation of this type is the concentric circles around an object that strikes the surface of the water.

The progressive rhythm corresponds to a constant change in the repeating pattern. The size changes.

The alternation rhythm is created by the repetition of two or more elements that are used interchangeably.

The Defect of the Photographic Rhythm

As with a musical rhythm, the photographic rhythm can become boring because of the monotony generated.

Lassitude can occur when repetition is predictable. The look is no longer surprised. The dynamism of photography disappears in favor of a rigorous and analytical reading. It is the disappearance of spontaneous reading full of surprise.

Reason is then replaced by sedation.

One of the ways to provoke interest again and interrupt the rhythm somewhere in the picture. It's up to you to judge where to put that end.

Another way is to introduce into the rhythm of high and low times. This alternation will cause the viewer an interest because it recreates dynamism.

My secret when I create photographs with a rhythm is to break the excessive regularity.


The photographic rhythm is a very interesting way for you to strengthen the reading of your nature photographs.

You must have imagination and the eye exercised to find natural rhythms in our environment.

It is certainly one of the strongest creative ways to get a viewer's attention. The rhythm must be used without moderation.

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Article published on Friday, November 15, 2019 . Written by
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