Task: Select a photographic subject. Select 4 images, one image for each of the 4 Gestalt laws, which uses that law as the primary design strategy. Examine these 4 prints, answering the following questions for each image:
1. Has the application of the particular principle of visual organization contributed to the impact in the final image? If so, how? Describe what is the key feature in each image i.e. the strong line running from left to right is an example of continuity.
2. Has the application of the principles of visual organization enhanced or restricted your creativity? If so, how?
Examine these 4 selected prints, one image for each of the 4 Gestalt laws, answering the following questions:
1. Which image do you consider has the most pleasing composition? Why?
2. What is it about this image that you found pleasing?
Photographic Subject: Peanut Silos
The Gestalt Law of Proximity
Proximity ties together the three buildings together. This creates a sense of “one-ness” between the construction in its entirety as figure, with the sky as ground. A key feature of this image is the large horizontal walkway that connects two of the buildings, making them seem as one. I stifled my creativity with this photo as the law forced me to take a bland and visually uninteresting photo.
Other Gestalt laws visible:
- Similarity (the building shapes)
- Closure (the open T shape inside the two buildings on the right is visually enclosed by the shape of complete structure)
Gestalt’s Law of Closure
Although the structure displays curves and cylindrical shapes, the building as a whole remains in a general box shape, indicating the use of Closure. The hollows formed between each cylinder ties the four together to form one figure and this is a key feature. I found my creativity subdued for this photo as it was difficult to achieve enough impact.
Other Visible Gestalt Laws:
- Proximity (with the tree and the uppermost building)
- Continuation (with the strong vertical lines)
- Similarity (with the four cylindrical shapes)
Gestalt’s Law of Continuation
The eyes are drawn ever upward toward the roof by the vertical lines between the cylinders and this highlights Continuation. This channel forms the main feature of the image. I feel that my creativity assisted me to achieve this image showcasing this law.
Other Gestalt Laws visible:
- Similarity (symmetry)
- Closure (with the roof enclosing the central channel)
- Proximity (the roof and silos form one unit)
Gestalt’s Law of Similarity
The symmetry of this image strengthens the Similarity found in this picture while the wires and roof pattern add to the sense of alikeness. The key feature of the photo is the X shape. I photographed this for my own pleasure (rather than purpose-shot) and I enjoyed unleashing my creativity.
Other visible Gestalt Laws:
- Closure (the shape of the X against the sky)
- Proximity (the connection between the roof, chimneys and the crossbeams)
- Continuation (with the dramatic X crossbeams extending beyond the edge of the picture)
My favourite is the final one because of how the symmetry is even and echoed in various places throughout the photo. I like how the X shaped crossbeams not only draw you toward the centre of the image but also allow you to follow it out to the edges of the frame. This image supplies many answers but also asks plenty of questions.