THE GESTALT LAWS OF PERCEPTUAL ORGANIZATION:
- Law of Proximity. Visual elements are grouped in the mind according to how close they are to each other.
- Law of Similarity. Elements that are similar in some way, by form or content, tend to be grouped.
- Law of Closure. Elements roughly arranged together are seen to complete an outline shape. The mind seeks completeness.
- Law of Simplicity. The mind tends towards visual explanations that are simple; simple lines, curves, and shapes are preferred, as is symmetry and balance.
- Law of Common Fate. Grouped elements are assumed to move together and behave as one.
- Law of Good Continuation. Similar to the above, this states that the mind tends to continue shapes and lines beyond their ending points .
- Law of Segregation. In order for a figure to be perceived, it must stand out from its background. Figure-ground images exploit the uncertainty of deciding which is the figure and which is the background, for creative interest.
‘Grouping plays a large part in Gestalt thinking, and this is known as “chunking.”
GESTALT PRINCIPLES INCLUDE:
- Emergence. Parts of an image that do not contain sufficient information to explain them suddenly pop out as a result of looking long enough and finally grasping the sense .
- Reification. The mind fills in a shape or area due to inadequate visual input. This includes closure (above).
- Multistability. ln some instances, when there are insufficient depth clues, objects can be seen to invert spontaneously. This has been explolted more in art (M. C. Escher, Salvador Dali) than in photography.
- Invariance. Objects can be recognized regardless of orientation, rotation, aspect, scale, or other factors.
Michael Freeman The Photographer’s Eye p38