We have discussed the advantages of including lines in your composition.
But as lines begin to connect you get shapes.
These are the shapes that have names and probably what popped into your head when you read the word shape. But shapes can be organic.
Here is where most of the power comes from, because although named shapes can be useful in creating repetition and can aid in leading the eye. The odd interlocking shapes formed by your objects interaction with each other and you photos edges are what create a solid and pleasing composition.
Notice how although there are a number of rectangles in the background the ball dominates the field of view and becomes static and centered making the photo lifeless. You can see the same thing in this photo. The photographer obviously was looking at the shapes of the objects but forgot about how they interacted with each other and the edges of the frame.
Consider instead, moving your camera closer so that the object and the frame work together to create both positive (the leaf) and negative (the sky)shapes.
Notice here how strong the sky becomes in this photo creating as much interest as the objects.
Named shapes when overlapped or interacting with the edge can also create strong compositional elements. And don’t forget, if you find a small frame within the picture try to use it to your advantage.
Don’t forget the power of lines just because we are concentrating on shape.
Using backlight can silhouette objects, flattening them into more controlable objects. This is an interesting image but could have been made more dynamic if it was not so centered.
And don’t forget to try your best to always be telling a story.
Shape can also be used in the placement of objects. Like line can be objects in a line, shape can be objects in a shape, like people making up a triangle:
Here’s a link google images with shape photographs.