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I shared about shapes a week ago and today am going to look at the role lines play in a composition. Lines can be straight,diagonal, curved, short and long, stable, or chaotic and create many moods in a photograph. I used to say  that I liked trees because of their shape, but after thinking about it,  realized that it was the lines of the limbs that attracted me as well as the overall shape of the foliage.  I will show some man-made lines as well as ones found in nature.

Here is an example of simple curved lines mixed with straight lines that I took while attending  the workshop last week.



Next is an example of two lines. The fact that they are crossed creates some tension and provides a focal point.

Clothes Lines

Sometimes lines are singular.

Single BranchOr repeated, such as in this photo of an old barn.

The Old Barn


There is the “s” curve, always a pleasing line to the eye…

Ready for Skis


and here is an example of a mix of stable lines and a single curved line…Leading into the  Woodsand straight lines combined with chaotic lines that I took yesterday in the park…

Trees and BushesLines of perspective can create depth and lead you into the photo …

Chickakoo TrailWaskehagen Trail

There are an endless  variety of lines and many ways to use them and I know that I have more ideas just by doing this exercise.It helps me to look at potential photos and maybe change my point of view so that I may use lines to have a stronger composition. Happy shooting!



6 responses

  1. A handful of pictures that very well illustrates you point in this post. Line are of course essential in almost any photograph. My favourite picture is the second one with the two lines crossing each other.

    March 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    • Thanks for your comments, Otto. Much appreciated.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm

  2. I am so accustomed to the leading lines in a landscape from my job, but I was really drawn to the unexpected of the first image. That one has point counter point on the straight and curving lines. I like the wire too, if the ice was dripping, there would have been more directional lines formed.

    March 17, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    • Thanks, I don’t know about point-counterpoint-could you define the meaning, please? Always learning, Jane

      March 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      • Just being so different in form. They are a bit of opposites, straight to curve. harsh to soft, material choice and even the space the take up in the frame giving importance to one over the other.

        March 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm

        • good description, thank you.

          March 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm

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