Project 2 Visual skills

Exercise 1.3 Line

(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.

_MG_3789 WA

_MG_3813 WA   _MG_3857 not WA

Intersections of the lines with the frame lead the viewers’ eyes into the image and yes, the effect is strengthened with a viewpoint close to the lines.

Even this shot taken without a wide angle lens leads the viewers’ eyes into the image:

_MG_3906 not WA

Leading lines give depth to a photo, once the objects are on the lines they become smaller as the eye is drawn towards the centre of the frame, this creates the illusion and impression of depth in an image.

(2) 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).

_MG_4145  _MG_4147

_MG_3840                      _MG_3890

Review your shots from both parts of Exercise 1.3. How do the different lines relate to the frame?

Interestingly out of the hundreds of images I shot at the Southampton boat show I could only find two that I had shot parallel to the subject. I shot them in this way deliberately, to flatten the pictorial space and I believe they are quite effective;  however it proves that I generally find shooting to create a sense of depth more interesting.

Yes it is important that for leading lines, a line leaving the frame leads to a focal point within the frame. This is not so with lines in an image taken parallel to the sensor, in fact on reviewing some of my other images I find that I tend to use this shooting technique when I am creating an abstract image.

Note down what you understand by the terms “cropping” and “framing”:

Cropping is carried out after capturing an image, removing outer parts of it to improve the composition, possibly to frame it better, to remove distractions, to zoom in or to improve the balance or tempo. This can be done physically by cutting or digitally using software.

Framing done whist compose and shooting an image. It is a way of drawing attention to a particular part of an image such as using leading lines to draw the viewer in, or using an object to frame a part of an image (such as windows, archways, doorways, shadows, foreground images, light). Framing can add depth and interest to an image and must not clutter it.

It is interesting to see how other photographers such as Leonard Kirstein, Victor Burgin and Alfred Stieglitz use these techniques, or not. Looking at my shots in part 1, they mostly give a feeling of a composed view rather that Stieglitz’s cropped view. I guess one needs to be careful not to be too tightly controlled on this, to allow sometimes for a transparent window to the world.