Using Lines

February 22, 2010

One thing about children, they are always in motion. However, from time to time they will stop when something catches their attention, and if you are ready you can catch an interesting image. As you frame your photo it pays to be aware of the natural lines which are available as you get ready to take your photograph.

Lines come in many varieties including parallel lines, diagonal lines, converging lines, straight lines and S and C curves. By being aware of the lines around your subject you can use them to create some very interesting images.

In composition parallel lines can be very useful, particularly when taking photographs outdoors where visual lines are often formed by horizontal planes created by land and sky. In this case the best photographs come if you divide the framed view into thirds placing the subject child’s eyes along the top third parallel line when the photo becomes more pleasing, less static and more balanced.

Example Of Diagonal Leading Lines

Example Of Diagonal Leading Lines

Diagonal lines can give the impression of motion to your photograph, and be created using such things as shadows, paths, roads or even railroad tracks like the photograph on the right.

Converging lines also can be very powerful as they lead the viewers eyes directly to the subject of the photograph. For example, a child leaning against a brick wall with about 1/3rd of the photograph having the wall in the foreground naturally leads the observers eyes directly to your subject.

Exploring curving lines is one more way to explore lines as you learn to compose your photographs. Although the diagonal leading line is more direct and powerful, a curve is a more subtle and gracious way to direct the viewers eyes. Photographing children on curved paths gives a sense of freedom and adventure with forward movement, security and direction.

Remember, keep taking lots and lots of photographs of your kids. You will be glad you did!

Betty Muscott, Child Photographer

Betty Muscott, Child Photographer

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