Texture, Pattern, Repetition in Nature

Image courtesy of Margaret Herdegen

We’re going to continue our journey into nature photography with a quick post about all the textures, patterns, and repetition you can find in nature. This time of year is fantastic for finding all kinds of textures and patterns in nature. Even if you’re not a nature photographer, looking for ways to incorporate textures, patterns, and repetition into your everyday photos can really help make them stronger and more interesting.


You know when you see an image and you want to reach out and touch it?  The texture of the image seems real.  Have the viewer feel the image – soft, sticky, wet, smooth, rough.  Can the light shining on it enhance the texture?  Can the composition help lead the eye over its smooth surface?

Image courtesy of SPS Member Helen Pace

Don’t be afraid to mix textures as well.  In the image below, the soft textures of the clouds, the smooth water, and the harsher texture of the rocks mix well to make this image appealing to the eye.

Image courtesy of SPS Member Melissa Tokariwski

Pattern & Repetition

Nature is chock full of it! Get out your kindergarten math hats.  A-B-A-B-A-B….. Leaf-space-leaf-space…. Maybe tree trunk-space-tree trunk-space….  The goal is the “A” items are as close as you can get to being the same and the “B” are as close as you can get to being the same.

Image courtesy of Margaret Herdegen

Lighting, shadows, and depth of field can help capture pattern and repetition as well. The light falling on the edges of the pine cone scales really helps to define the repetition of the shapes.

Image courtesy of SPS Member Alision Sutich

Sometimes you may have to look close for the pattern or repetition.   But there are also patterns and repetition from afar too.  We love what the perspective did to help see this repetition in the sand.  Don’t be afraid to get down low or shoot from above!

Image courtesy of SPS Member Anne Scherer

Slow down, take in the world around you. You’ll be so surprised at what you’ll find when you do!

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