Let's Snap Together - Exercise 2: Seeing Shape and Form

Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

Draw a circle with a piece of chalk in the sidewalk and you have created a shape. Take a basketball and put down on the same sidewalk and you have placed a form. It’s the play of light as it falls upon an object that gives it form, or dimensionality. The chalk-written circle on the pavement does actually have form. If we were to examine it under a microscope, we would notice the thickness, curves, and texture of the chalk or the gaps and mounds in the cement. But from our vantage point, it is merely an outline.

The lives of individuals within a community, a company, or a household have shape. If we were to photograph them as groups with the light shining behind them, we would see only see their outlines, we would have a hard time differentiating between the people in each collective.

But when we view them with the light in front of them, we begin to notice that each person has their own unique form. The group remains intact, its diversity is now illuminated.

Just as with pattern, our brain loves when it can find and recognize basic shapes. We don’t need to contemplate the stop sign as we drive toward the intersection. We immediately know what it means. But our curiosity and our creativity are peaked when we discover form. If we instead walk to the street corner and stand under the heavy red reflective metal and touch the wooden post that holds the sign up, we are now noticing its weight, texture, and thickness.

What forms have you reduced to shapes in your busy life? Could you benefit from pausing to consider them dimensionally?

Today’s challenge is to find shape, form or both. Snap it and share it with #snapwithme2020.