Saturday, 5 February 2011

Elements of design: Project - lines

Exercise: Horizontal and vertical lines

Aim:  The aim of this exercise is to capture 8 images that contain horizontal and vertical elements (4 horizontal and 4 vertical).  These elements should be the focus of the image (what the viewer would notice first) and any other content should be subordinate to these elements.  This exercise focuses on actual lines rather than implied. 

Approach and results:

I wanted to find a good range of subjects for this exercise.  In general I'm drawn to strong lines and repeating patterns to the point where they become abstract but I wanted to capture single lines as well.


In this first image there are a number of continuous horizontal lines; the reflection, the stones, the path, the top of the bank and the trees.  These all reinforce the sense of 'horizontal'.

F10  1/40 sec  ISO 200

In this shot the railings create a strong and bold horizontal line.  The top and bottom of the railings are continuous and there is a tight repetitive pattern on the railings acting as a continuous line.  This is also reinforced by capturing 2 sets of railings.

F5  1/40 sec  ISO 200

This image of the viaduct is an example of a single horizontal line.  The train, dark brick and red brick act as one.  The line of arches with their dark shadows also give an implied line which I think is stronger.  There are competing subjects here in the tree in the foreground and the tower blocks behind but I think the line of arches remains the main subject overall.

F9  1/320 sec  ISO 200

This image is of a flight of steps with bright yellow edges.  I used the hand rails to add to the symmetry of the image and to identify the steps as steps and not lines on a wall.  The yellow lines are dominant but you could also look at it as a series of grey lines.

F14  1/10 sec  ISO 200

For this image of tower cranes I chose to shoot into the sun, shielding it partially with the crane.  This gives a strong vertical silhouette against the sky which benefits from being black and white.

F13  1/640 sec  ISO 200

This image is of a cylindrical sculpture with gradually changing coloured stripes.  The reflection of the sculpture in the building shows how the colours change but is not immediately recognisable as its reflection.  It is difficult to resolve the lines as they do not create any depth nor do they resemble something familiar.  This creates a tension in the image and I find myself drawn to the lines in an attempt to understand what they are.

F8  1/320 sec  ISO 200

For this image I zoomed in on a line of plain trees.  This works better as than if the trees were in bloom as the trunks would not be visible and it is these that give the vertical image.  The smaller branches all growing upward help to reinforce the vertical theme.

F8  1/200 sec  ISO 200

In this image of record sleeves I have captured many repeating verticals.  On reflection this would have been better taken in portrait as this would have increased the 'verticalness' of the image; longer lines but fewer of them.  I was, however, careful not to include the shelf as this would have given the option to view this as horizontal

F10  0.8 sec  ISO 800

Learning points:

Capturing the eye with repeating vertical or horizontal lines is far easier than using a single line where the content needs to subordinate to the line.  Repeating lines not only take up more of the frame but reinforce the image.

In particular the horizontal is more difficult as it has to be more dramatic than the vertical to stand out.  It is more difficult to be in a position to capture or appreciate a horizontal line even if it exists.  Getting a viewpoint for a vertical line such as a tall building is far easier.  You also need to be on the same plain for either to avoid diagonals or converging lines.

No comments:

Post a Comment