Gestalt theory in photography
The human brain works in exciting ways to understand reality and perceive the world around it. Armed with a good understanding of Gestalt theories, you can improve your compositional ideas and create more powerful images that effectively intrigue your audiences and draw them into your world.
Gestalt: the idea that the whole is different than the sum of its parts.
Figure-Ground: we will always tend to differentiate a form from it’s surroundings. The shape or form that serves as the focus of an image is the figure, and the surroundings or negative space is known as the ground
Continuation: The law of continuity posits that the human eye will follow the smoothest path when viewing lines, regardless of how the lines were actually drawn.
Proximity: Elements that are placed close to each other will often be perceived as one group. The close proximity unifies them together and will help to form a figure within an image.
Similarity & Proximity
Two important gestalt principles are similarity and proximity. Visual elements that are near each other will be seen as belonging and grouped; those that are similar
will also be seen as belonging together. The elements can be similar in size, shape, color, texture, position, direction, movement or meaning.
The Law of Closure
Gestalt Law of Closure posits that humans have an innate tendency to fill in gaps and complete missing pieces. Now, we’ve alluded here before, that one of the most excellent ways to keep the viewer involved in a photograph is to have them complete its visual narrative. In other words, have them fill in the blank. That’s Closure.
The Law of common fate
All of us, at one point or another, have experienced the Gestalt law of common fate. The postulation here is that objects that are oriented in the same direction appear as one coherent group. It’s not much different from the Gestalt law of proximity, only that here there’s the element of motion or direction.