Project one Gestalt in composition

Posted on November 27, 2013


The YOP course notes explain how Gestalt theory has been valuable in its approach to visual recognition. Modern Gestalt theory takes an holistic approach to perception and proposes that in viewing an entire scene the mind can take a sudden leap from recognising the individual elements to understanding it in its entirety.

A number of laws of organisation are proposed which underpin principles for composing images. These are as follows:

  • Law of Proximity – Elements are grouped according to how close to one another they are.
  • Law of Similarity – Similar elements tend to be grouped.
  • Law of Closure – Elements that roughly form a shape are grouped in the mind of the viewer. We seek completeness.
  • Law of Simplicity – Simple lines, curves and shapes are preferred.
  • Law of Common Fate – Grouped elements are assumed to work together and behave as one.
  • Law of Good Continuation – The mind continues lines and shapes beyond their ending point.

I made a number of images for my Another Hawaii series with the aim of exploring the Gestalt laws.  These are presented below along with my comments on what I had  in mind compositionally.

Downtown Waimea Text

Hualalai from Kohala Mountain Road Text

Suburban Waimea Text