This week’s theme is repetition. I had a hard time finding many recent examples in my work, so I pulled a few old non-people photos from the archives. The left top and middle photos were taken on film prior to 2009. Even though I didn’t find many examples with people in them, repetition can be a great way to draw the viewer’s eye to your subject, like in the bottom two examples. Or just lead the eye through the frame if there is no particular subject, kind of similar to leading lines. Repetition can take the form of leading lines too, like in the top two examples.

Here are some tips on using repetition in your photos:

  1. As I’ve said in other composition challenges, think about the way your eye moves around the frame. If you have a subject, you’ll probably want to use repeating shapes/objects to draw the viewer’s eye to them.
  2. Think about breaking up the pattern with an object or person. Imagine your whole frame is a pattern, like a brick wall or a flower bed. If you put something in there that doesn’t fit in, that’s what the eye will be drawn to, so pay attention to your composition (think rule of thirds or symmetry). This works well with my bottom two photos that have subjects in them. It’s more of a distraction in the black and white photo of the ocean steps and I kind of wish that random element on the right middle step wasn’t there.
  3. Keep an eye out for repetition in patterns or groups of objects in your daily life and you’ll get better at spotting it. Examples could be rows of trees, a patterned wall, a bunch of benches in a church, a line of people, a row of lockers, windows, etc.
  4. Try zooming in on the repeated items, so other things don’t distract the viewer from the pattern (unless intentionally like with a subject or a well-composed different element).

If you have any questions, join us in the Facebook group. I’ll be checking in there daily to see your work and help you achieve the best results.

If you’re just finding this now, you can check out the full list and more information on the challenge here. You can follow me on Instagram at @documentyourdaytoday and use the hashtag #documentyour2021.