Background Patterns and Textures

Textured backgrounds, or those with repeating elements, can often form ideal patterns to add low-key interest behind a subject. For example, the horizontal lines of a brick wall or the vertical lines of wooden planks on a shed could both make great backgrounds.

Horizontal lines tend to suit a landscape format image best while vertical lines are more powerful in a portrait image, as the background lines echo the angle of the longest edge of the image.

However, patterns or background lines that are set at an angle can add energy to a composition. Where the lines naturally form a vertical or horizontal plane, simply tilting the camera can change them into a high-energy diagonal. Angle your camera so that the lines run corner to corner rather than edge to edge for the most powerful effect. This is easily overdone, so experiment with lesser tilts and don’t feature too many unusually tilted shots in the same set.