Straight Line Elements In Photography

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If you're just starting to learn photography and are looking for an easy way to make your pictures stand out from the garden variety amateur photo, think about directing the eye of the viewer. What is meant by this is to look for something in the environment that "points" to the main subject of your photo. Look for straight line elements such as a fence, road, handrail, or some other linear feature and choose an angle so that they point or lead the eye to your subject. An example of this is a photo of a straight and empty highway that recedes into the distance where it converges on a mountain range. You could take a photo of the same distant range without the highway, but the sense of the mountains' distance is dramatically amplified by the receding highway. The…show more content…
While this by itself makes an interesting photo, you can make a better shot by positioning yourself so that the fence that pens in the horse is part of the photo. The fence should lead the eye to the barn and horse. Straight line elements like this should be long and recede diagonally toward the subject. Some other examples of these elements include sidewalks, buildings, and most man-made things. You should also look for objects such as posts or trees that are lined up in a row. Even patterns can be used to direct the eye. Examples of these are the parallel lines of a brick wall or dune patterns on a beach. Looking down a long straight canal at a boat in the distance is yet another example. In this case the canal itself and its shore lines point directly at the boat. Unless you have great observational skills, you may find it difficult to find these lines when taking photos. An easy way around this is to go where the lines are and then look for subjects. Bring your camera and go for strolls along roadways, beaches with long shore lines, railroad tracks, canyons with linear rock strata, and so

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