30 January 2013

Lines in Composition

When we look at an image our eye is naturally drawn to follow a line.  Thinking about how you place images in a composition can effect how we view the picture and how we are pulled into the image towards the subject.  It can take us on a journey.  

1. Vertical Lines:  Vertical lines run up and down.  They create a feeling of strength, grandeur, height and dignity.  Vertical lines can be found in buildings, trees, fences and people standing up.
2.  Horizontal Lines: Horizontal lines run across the image.  They create a sense of calm, peace, tranquility and stability to an image.  They can be represented in nature such as in flowers in a field, ocean waves, desert scene, lake or a person lying in the grass.  It is important to make sure these lines are straight or it will cause confusion in the image.  
3.   Diagonal Lines:  Diagonal lines run catty corner across a page.  They are the most powerful and create a feeling of energy, motion and force.  Examples of this are the slope of a mountain, a runner on the starting line and the wind bending a tree.
4.   Curved Lines:  Curves represent beauty and charm.  The best example is the female body.  Other examples are curves in a rive or a pathway.
5.  S Curved Lines:  An S curve adds interest and beauty to the image.  This line goes further than a plain curve and it adds charm and strength.
6.  Leading Lines:  This is a line that leads the eye down a path to a main object or center focal point.  Examples of this is a road, fence, shoreline or river.  The best leading lines will begin at the lower left of the image but not in the exact corner.  The eye likes to be lead into an image and it helps it get into the image easily.
7. Implied lines:  These lines are not actual lines but are implied.
8.  Unsuccessful lines:  These line of course do not work but they lead the eye into the picture and right back out with nothing to stop the eye.  There is no focal point to the picture so it is confusing to the eye. 

1 comment:

  1. I read a book my senior year of High School about composition and line and I was surprised at what I had learned. Little thing like positive trends (leading up to the right) tend to make images feel happier whereas negative trends (down to the left) can convey just the opposite. I'm happy to find similar information here and good on you for tracking it down.