Shape vs Form

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by LizardKing, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. LizardKing
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    LizardKing New Member

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    Hello!

    I'm reading Bryan Peterson's Learning to See Creatively book and, since English isn't my first language, I'm having troubles understanding the difference between Shape and Form when it comes to Photography. Could you please help me with this?

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    LizardKing
  2. WesternGuy
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    WesternGuy Well-Known Member

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    Basically, shape has only two dimensions, whereas form has three dimensions. For example, a silhouette will show a shape and it is left to the viewer to determine what the object is from the outline. If an image of a brick wall is taken looking directly at the wall, then we may know its shape, but we know nothing of its thickness or depth. Shapes are shot generally completely backlit - silhouettes, or completely frontlit, like a wall or the face of a building.

    To show form in an image (which is a two dimensional media), on the other hand, you have to make use of sidelighting and the shadows it produces, for example, in photographing a building or a landscape, the shadows produce the illusion of a third dimension - width, height, length. HTH.

    Cheers,

    WesternGuy
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
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  3. LizardKing
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    LizardKing New Member

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    Got it! Thank you WesternGuy!

    Regards,
    LizardKing

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