Commission 04: Two of a Kind

Vetriano Vision © Knut Skjærven

Vetriano Vision © Knut Skjærven.

Here is yet another commission. Commission 04: Two of a Kind.

It is all about grouping people and objects.

This time illustrated by two older images. Shot i Cannes, France in 2003. In the days of film and analog cameras and yes, that was for me a long time ago. Fuji Reala on Contax G2 to be more precise. I still have the gear, but that is not relevant here. Just thought I would mention it :-).

The first picture shows an elderly couple relaxing at The Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes.

The second picture gives you a wider view. It includes another couple standing contemplating the ocean that this area is so famous for. Cote d´Azur.

This commission is the first to illustrate the use of gestalt factors in photography.

Gestalt factors express how humans make it easy on themselves when viewing and understanding visual communication e.g. photography. In stead of counting two (people) in the first shot and four (people) in the second, shot normally objects/subject are counted in groups. This makes it easier and faster to process the visual information. In the first shot you have one group, in the second two group.

The gestalt factors used are the factor or similarity, and the factor of proximity. Both are described elsewhere in this toolbox. Follow the links and read about it.

By grouping you establish invisible relation that are detected by consciousness, but not necessarily by your eye. The invisible relations become part of the way people unconciously understand your photographs.

One thing: It is imperative that groups are distinctive and that you don’t hide them too deep in other visual content. That would clutter the pictures, so to speak.

We are going to talk a lot more about gestalt factors in photography along the way. They are important.

This commission is rather simple. You are suggested to do two things: 1) Make a photo of one group and make sure that the group is visually distinct. 2) Done that you take a photo of two groups in which both groups are distinct. Use the images above as examples.

When you have taken the two pictures, post them to the internet somewhere and simply link to the pictures from the comment box to this post. When you link to your photos, also give the arguments why you find the grouping in your pictures examples of gestalt factors in operation. Maybe you have to read a bit about it first, but it will be great learning.

Good luck with it.


October 13, 2012

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  1. #1 by Elisabeth on October 19, 2012 - 6:53 pm

    Hi Knut,
    It’s being a bit tough with session 2 and session 3 needs me to find a peculiar opportunity I think so I’ll give a try with session 4. A wonderful lesson as always 🙂
    I posted some shots here: or here:
    Have good evening.

    • #2 by Knut Skjaerven on October 20, 2012 - 10:52 pm

      Good work. Most of it :-).

      This commission was maybe too easy, but where, by the way, are the double solution: two times two of a kind? Oh well, you can take it Monday :-).


  2. #3 by Elisabeth on October 21, 2012 - 6:33 pm

    Thanks so much! No no not too easy!!!! Just love to capture that 🙂 and I had read the two of a kind session before ;-).
    I need to find doubles now :-).

  3. #4 by elisam75 on October 26, 2012 - 7:12 pm

    I will try to complete with some shots i thought might correspond with the double solution. Not exactly though for they are 2 x 2 of kind. I Wonder if that would work.
    here they are:
    2 ages
    2 and 2 makes 4
    Have a good evening!

    • #5 by Knut Skjaerven on January 7, 2013 - 10:42 am

      What? I seem to have missed this comment. I am sorry. Will comment very soon :-).

  4. #6 by Elisabeth on November 25, 2012 - 9:30 am

    Hi knut,
    here are 2 more shots for this session:
    one for 2 of kind :
    and one for 2×2 of a kind:
    Have a good day!

  5. #8 by Kim Landgraf on January 7, 2013 - 7:33 am

    good morning, Knut!
    Two of a kind seems to happen quite often, sometimes without actually noticed by the photographer when taking the shot. These two I went out for as I had this commission in mind.
    Thank you!!

  6. #9 by Kim Landgraf on January 7, 2013 - 7:36 am

    ah, by the way: next commission Elisabeth and I agreed on is “Lining Down”!

    • #10 by Knut Skjaerven on January 7, 2013 - 10:44 am

      That sounds very good. I am looking forward to it. Have a good day.

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