Exercise 1.3 (1)
Take a number of shots using lines to create a sense of depth. Shooting with a wide- angle lens (zooming out) strengthens a diagonal line by giving it more length within the frame. The effect is dramatically accentuated if you choose a viewpoint close to the line.
Exercise 1.3 (2) Line
Take a number of shots using lines to flatten the pictorial space. To avoid the effects of perspective, the sensor/film plane should be parallel to the subject and you may like to try a high viewpoint (i.e. looking down). Modern architecture offers strong lines and dynamic diagonals, and zooming in can help to create simpler, more abstract compositions.
Review your shots from both parts of Exercise 1.3. How do the different lines relate to the frame? There’s an important difference from the point exercises: a line can leave the frame. For perpendicular lines this doesn’t seem to disrupt the composition too much, but for perspective lines the eye travels quickly along the diagonal and straight out of the picture. It feels uncomfortable because the eye seems to have no way back into the picture except the point that it started from. So for photographs containing strong perspective lines or ‘leading lines’, it’s important that they lead somewhere within the frame.
For the first part of the exercise, I took my Nikon D750 and 18-35mm Wide Angle Lens and took advantage of strong lines, keeping the end of the subject line within the frame and at an angle to create the sense of depth.
Here are my results:
For the Second Part of the exercise I used a 70-300mm lens.
Here are the results:
When I compare the shots from the two different parts of the exercises I instantly get a different feeling when viewing the shots from each set.
With the angled depth shots your eye it drawn along the line into the photo, there is no reliance on the straight lines of a horizon and they contrast with the straight lines of the frame itself, creating a dynamic. For me, an angled lines draws my eye into the picture creating depth and a sense of distance, it is a very useful composition tool if you wish to encourage a viewers attention in a certain direction. I found where I have used more than one angled line in a frame such as the stairs photo (using the handrails and the guide rails at the top) where they meet in the frame strengthens the feeling of depth and distance even more so.
For the perpendicular lines in the second part, I found myself feeling more drawn to the contrast between the colours and the light and dark. My eye naturally scanned the pictures from side to side but I wasn’t drawn into the picture as before, rather I scanned over the whole image, following the lines in and out of the frame. Since the lines where straight and so in relation to the frame itself with it’s straight edges, it felt comfortable to view but I found myself focusing on other parts of the frame to linger on, such as the colours of the graffiti and the contrast of the sea behind the rail fencing and building. I found it produced a calmer feeling within me and perhaps wasn’t as exciting. I feel, this is still a very valuable composition tool in certain circumstances when you are looking to give your picture a calmer, relaxed feeling with the focus on contrast for instance.