Using Triangles to improve composition

Using triangles in portraits

Triangles can be used in different ways to create a striking composition. In the image of the couple above their heads and shoulders have created a symmetrical triangle, which makes the image feel stable and harmonious – exactly the feel you want for a young couple in love.

And the triangle is a very common and pleasing technique for grouping several people in an image. It’s important to make sure that their faces are on the same plane (the same distance from the camera) so that they are all in focus.

This can also be used on larger groups. The triangle is a pleasing and inclusive shape. Someone breaking up the triangle could suggest tension and non-inclusion.

Triangles are also a good way of linking three separate focal points within an image, rather than having three subjects along a line (which can also work too!)

In this image the eye travels between the three subjects. All three are of similar importance although Nic looking at the camera attracts our interest first.

Once you start looking for triangles in images you will see them everywhere!

They add dynamic movement, taking the viewer’s eye through the image in much the same way as leading lines and diagonals.

Sometimes the triangle will be incomplete (with one of its apexes out of the image) but it still works as a way of making the image feel dynamic.

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