Using Diagonal Lines in Photography

Translations of this material:

into Russian: Применение диагоналей в фотографии. Translated in draft, editing and proof-reading required.
Submitted for translation by Snapshot 11.03.2009


Diagonal lines generally work well to draw the eye of an image’s viewer through the photograph. They create points of interest as they intersect with other lines and often give images depth by suggesting perspective.

They can also add a sense of action to an image and add a dynamic looks and feel.

Consider how you might use diagonal lines to lead the eye to your photograph’s main subject or point of interest.

Different studies have been done into how people view images and many of them say that a natural way into an image is by traveling left to right and so a diagonal line starting at the bottom left and moving to the top right of an image can be quite useful and natural.

Of course you wouldn’t want to split your image into two with a harsh line from corner to corner - rather look for for patterns and curves between shapes that might do this naturally.

Also rather than making a line go from the very corner to the opposite corner it’s often good to make them off centre and go to either side of corners.

Keep in mind that numerous diagonal lines leading in different directions and intersecting with one another can add a sense of action to your photo but adding too many diagonal lines might make it chaotic and confusing.

As with both horizontal and vertical lines - diagonal lines that are repeated through out an image can create very effective patterns that can easily become the subject of a photograph themselves. A recently plowed field or the ridges on a sand dune might be good examples of this.

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