I won’t bother explaining basic rhythm; everybody knows what it is: something that is repeated over and over – it is defined as ‘a regularly occurring motion’. As in music, there are beats that are constant, and take you through the picture. It’s actually very easy to spot rhythms if you go out with the sole intention of finding them.
To capture a good rhythm that will be interesting for the viewer, look for something where each different step makes your eye want to jump to the next part of the sequence – e.g. a groyne on the beach where each post progressively gets more rotten, a fence that disappears into the mist or a tunnel that disappears into the darkness. The effect is the mind of the viewer wants to know how the sequence is by the end, so will pay more attention to the rhythm, wanting to spot the minute differences between each step. Whereas in a typical rhythm, you see that every thing is the same, and often will not care to explore the image fully. My name for this type of sequence is a ‘progressive rhythm’.
Although it’s good to find and capture rhythms; for the viewer once the rhythm is identified, the mind will continue the rhythm out of the frame, and that will be it. If you place a subject that can pause or stop the viewer from simply following the rhythm, it means the viewer will follow the rhythm, stop, and probably do another few sweeps around the picture.