Seeking order from chaos
Our brains are wired to produce patterns out of chaos, when we look at ink blots we can see different things, not that they are actually there. We tend to seek order and rhythm visually and aurally. If we listen to music we can spot the bum note, but there are many combinations that work together and have different tones a major chord has a different sound to a minor chord and progressions will be using the notes within a key.
Visually we can see where somethings wrong or out of place or too far out of place. My favorite instrument to play is the guitar and sometimes the notes are less than perfectly pitched but reach a fair approximation, close enough is fine. If it’s too much of a clash it is noise.
How about visually? I have a photo I took a headshot of a dog and there are no other elements in the photo. Because of life the proportions are based on phi, so visually there is nothing to clash and be out of place. The dog is proportioned on phi and i have just the framing to get right.
How about a model, don’t we tend to blur the background is that to bring out the model or to remove unwanted elements that compete for attention. The mantra simplify, simplify …
It starts to fall into place, doesn’t it? As we introduce more elements into a scene it becomes harder to keep a balance and a structure but we can do it with some degree of success.
A found scene is much harder to identify an order which works, maybe one of the reasons we like a low light in the golden hour is the repeating shadows …
The rule of thirds is one way to impose order but it gets tired, its a bit like status quo songs they have hammered away with 12 bar blues so much its gotten tired and stale and generic.
I am now convinced that there are a lot of ways to bring an order or a design to a scene and we are free to choose any of them and maybe your gut is a good place to recognise that you have found an order.
We don’t just seek order visually and aurally. Consider how we use order in stories and poetry we seek a flow a pace a progression. Like music we have many design patterns we can employ, there is no right design except maybe phi, as that is the base pattern for life and we are surrounded by life.
The tonal spacing we employ can set mood and energy, i’m like a toddler taking first steps, I have enough understanding of music to recognise the tonal difference between major and minor chords , the sweetness of a minor 7th. If we have visual tone and spacing perhaps we can find these tonal patterns visually.