Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Going deeper: The power of diagonal lines

Dusk at South Haven pier
Originally uploaded by James Jordan.
Photographs are two-dimensional images (or at least they will be until they come up with a way to make cheap holograms!). As such, a challenge for photographers is instilling a 3-dimensional quality to their pictures. There are several ways to build depth into a photo. One of the easiest ways is to look for diagonal lines. The eye is trained to interpret diagonal lines as receding into the distance (think railroad tracks or a line of light poles by the side of the road). Any time you can work diagonal lines into a photo, do so. Even better is making the diagonal lines lead to the focal point of the picture.

In the examples here, the converging diagonal lines of the pier and catwalk give the impression of depth (a bonus is the two fishermen framed in the support of the catwalk – a third fisherman is framed further down the pier). In the second photo, the alternating diagonals of the winding walkway emphasize depth.

Now, go out there and get crooked!

Photos © 2006 James Jordan. Click on pictures to enlarge.

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