Line – strongest, most important and most influential.

  • vertical, horizontal, diagonal and curved lines.
  • without shape there can be no form.

Shape – the second most fundamental element of design in photography.

Form – form is basically a three dimensional shape,

  • the difference between light and shadow from a three dimensional object within the image.

Texture – texture can convey many emotions better than any other formal element,

  • the wrong use of texture can ruin the image you’re taking.

Pattern – we often overlook patterns,

  • life is full of patterns,
  • if you break a pattern you need an object that disrupts the flow,

Colour – you have warm and cool colours which can invade your images.

  • sadness relates to a cool colour such as blue.
  • anger relates to a warm colour such as red.

Space – we use thirds in photography to help us with space in our photography.

  • there can be little space in the photograph or a large amount of space within the photograph/images.


I analysed an image and picked out the Formal Elements present in that image. They are as follows:

  • Pattern,
  • Space,
  • Shape,
  • Form,
  • Colour,

In the image, there are many formal elements present within this basic photograph. One formal element present is pattern. This is shown throughout the image with the with the many circles which are presented in lines. This is where shape is involved in the image. This is to do with the shape of the circles which, when are closer to the camera, they seem bigger but when they are further away from the camera, they appear smaller when in all reality, they are the same size as the circles near the front of the camera.

Another formal element present in the image is space. This applies to two areas in the photo. Firstly, at the front of the image where it shows the amount of space in between the circles which are towards the front of the image. Secondly, the space at the back of the image is showing the space past the pattern as it shows how far the pattern goes out.

Another formal element present is form. This is present mainly at the front of the image where the shadows on the circles are more visible. This clearly shows that the circles are three dimensional and therefore posses form within the image.

The last formal element that I recognised in the image is colour. there are only simple and a small array of colours of colours which are black, grey and white. These are mainly all cold colours although white could be seen as a warm colour too, but due to the fact that the white is submerged within the black and grey means that the white becomes a cold colour.