Thanks to our partner, Rocky Nook, for this chapter on composition. The Enthusiast’s Guides and more books for photographers are right here.

Few things are as tantalizing to the human brain as patterns. We’re hard-wired to seek them out, which makes them an especially appealing element to add to your photographic compositions.

When you start looking for patterns, you quickly realize that you can find them everywhere (especially if peering through a macro lens). Nature and architecture provide endless opportunities to practice using repetition in your images. From the right perspective, the leaves on a sprig of eucalyptus become a beautiful, repetitive spiral. If photographed at a certain angle, a series of columns can be compressed to highlight their repeating shapes.

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