Tests have been performed on an analogue two-dimensional granular material in a special laboratory apparatus that allows the application of general stress or strain conditions. Digital image correlation of pairs of consecutive photographs taken during the tests has enabled fields of displacement and hence strain to be determined. Thus direct observation of internal displacements and strains has been possible for a series of general strain increments with different orientations of principal strain and different imposed angles of dilation. This analysis has successfully provided clear evidence of evolving internal structures of deformation. The observed evolving structures consist of bands of localised deformation and ‘cells’ of low deformation between the bands. The orientations of the identified localised features and cells are seen to depend on the applied strain path. The characteristic features and dimensions of the bands have been approximately identified.