Capturing Textures and Patterns in Photography


Textures and patterns are all around you. If you look at the nature, it’s all about textures and patterns.

Nature follows patterns in its every form. Theoretically, if anything is repeated more than two times, it becomes a pattern. And fundamentally, that’s what makes patterns and textures interesting.

To get an idea what exactly is there for you to look into the nature for patterns, have a look at the following photographs:




Nature welcomes us with patterns in our daily lives. You only have to look at the bee’s honeycomb to realize that nature is a key supplier of these stimulating subjects. Look beyond the obvious in a landscape and you’ll find patterns bursting out all over the place. The rolling hills, intruding fences and tree lined horizons all mix together to form spectacular patterns. A very simple and basic example can be the surface of any fruit. If you look it in an ordinary way, you may not notice the pattern. Take an orange and have a close look into it. You’ll find tiny dots and dimples on the surface of that. That’s where the pattern is. And that’s how you have to look around things, finding patterns and textures.

Keeping in mind this theory of patterns and textures, you can take an amazing array of photographs that are truly breath taking.  All you need to do is, see beyond the obvious. A layman doesn’t see any pattern in a line of trees, nor does he have an idea how beautifully the sands are laid on the seashore. And that makes a photographer stand out from a normal person, “The ability to see patterns and textures in day to day life

Patterns and textures to the nature are indeed analogous to what rhythm is to the music. While you can only feel the rhythm, you can actually only feel the pattern in the nature. It happens that sometimes a truly amazing pattern is right in front of you and you fail to notice that. And suddenly someone comes and clicks an amazing photograph of the same subject showing the pattern. And that’s exactly where point of view matters.

Repetition is a very important thing in capturing patterns and textures. As I already stated above, if anything is repeated more than two times, it becomes an interesting pattern. Interestingly, converse of this is also true and is termed as “breaking rule”. What this rule says is:

If you don’t find a pattern, break the flow to create one

To validate the truthfulness of this statement, imagine yourself sitting on the shore of a beach with lots of sand in front of you. At first glance, there is pure sand with no pattern upon it. But just spread your fingers across and you’ll get a beautiful pattern right on that place of sand.

photo with patterns

Tricks of Trade

Look out: The best thing to follow is to just go out and look for subjects with lots of repetition and patterns on them. However, always try to look beyond the obvious to catch the scene. Pick out the most interesting parts of the scene and move in close cropping out distracting backgrounds.

The type of lens to choose: Zoom lenses are extremely useful for selective cropping of the image – some have macro or close-up settings and allow you to move in really close for smaller detail. A telephoto lens can be used to tighten perspective but have a tripod handy

Best time to shoot: Your best friend in shooting patterns is sunlight. Sunlight makes patterns upon the ordinary things and makes bold textures appear on the subjects.

Use Shadows: Textures and patterns are not only about finding them. Sometimes you also have to create them. Use lights and shadows. Play with them and you’ll be amazed to see how you can actually created textures and patterns out of nowhere.

Last, but not the least, following are some amazing inspirational photos of patterns and textures in nature to get you started:









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