Real and implied triangles

This is my learning log for TAOP exercise 2-8, “Real and implied triangles”.

The exercise consists of two. Part one is to produce three pictures with “real” triangles.

Picture of a church spire, with the top triangular bit fully sunlit and the bottom rectangular bit in shadow.

Picture 1: Church of The Holy Redeemer, York

In this picture of the spire of the Church of The Holy Redeemer in York, the sunlit top of the spire forms a triangle, contrasted by the bottom part of the spire which is in shadow.
Picture of an almshouse, with a stone path forming a triangle leading the eye to the house entrance.

Picture 2: Almshouse, York

In this picture of an almshouse in York, the stone path leading up to the entrance forms a traditional perspective-induced triangle with the apex at the top of the triangle. Interestingly, but irellevant for the exercise, according to Wikipedia, the first recorded almshouse was built in York by king Athelstan.
Picture of the London Eye at night, with the treeline making an "inverted" triangle

Picture 3: The London Eye

Here I was asked to make a triangle by perspective so that the converging lines were pointing towards the bottom of the frame. The vanishing point of perspective is always on the horizon. Since the tree line is above the horizon, it points down towards the horizon line (and thus also towards the bottom of the frame) as it recedes into the distance.

The second part of the exercise is to make three pictures each using “implied” triangles as a compositional device. Implied, in this context, means that the brain is tricked into seeing a triangle where only its corner points exists).

Picture of six red candles arranged in a triangular shape

Picture 4: Red candles

The six Christmas lights forms a triangle with the apex at the top of the picture.
six salt shakers arranged in a triangular shape with the apex of the triangle at the bottom of the frame

Picture 5: Colourful shaker people

The arrangement of these shaker people forms a triangle with the apex at the bottom of the frame. The light is the ceiling light in the kitchen with 6 bulbs reflecting in the shiny surface of my cooker; far from ideal for this picture.
Picture of 3 people arranged so their heads form a triangle with the apex pointing up

Picture 6: Christmas Party 2012.

On this picture from a Christmas party, the faces of the three people forms a triangle with the apex at the top. This is a classical group-portrait arrangement, with the triangle giving the image stability.
3 people arranged so their heads form a triangle with the apex at the bottom of the frame.

Picture 7: Christmas party, take 2

In this final picture from the same Christmas party, the triangle is less pronounced and it points downwards. A triangle balanced on its head like this is far less stable than in picture 6; this adds a bit of tension and dynamism to the picture.

As the pictures in the exercise has shown, it’s fairly easy to find or create triangles, and they form an important compositional device. With the base at the bottom, as in pictures 1, 2, 4 and 6, they imply stability. When the triangle is turned “upside down” so it balances on the apex, as in pitures 3 and 5, it adds tension the picture.

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