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When Are Converging Verticals And Lines A Good Thing?

Techniques > When Are Converging Verticals And Lines A Good Thing?

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Category: General Photography

Photographing Converging Verticals And Lines - Converging lines and verticals don't always have to be avoided as we explain here.

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Most of the time, particularly in architectural photography, we are told that converging verticals and lines are something which should be avoided. But there are occasions when they don't have to be avoided by architectural or any other type of photographer.

Photo by David Clapp
Photo by David Clapp - www.davidclapp.co.uk


When shooting close to a building with a wide-angle lens, you can exaggerate the height of the structure with they help of converging verticals however, it can look like the building's about to fall over backwards so it isn't a style everyone appreciates. To exaggerate the sloping walls further, get lower to the ground with your wide-angle lens.

We've talked previously on how vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines can be used to add interest to shots and act as guides. If you take this further so you have multiple lines stretching towards the horizon, they can appear to be moving closer together, which, in turn, will help the viewer to focus on one specific area of the shot.

Where you set your camera up and how the lines move through your frame will change the feel of the shot. The most common way to use converging lines is to position your camera in the centre of the frame so you have symmetry as well as the converging guides working for you. But as the eye often looks at the bottom left of an image first before working across the shot to the top right corner, you can also position the lines so they flow from corner to corner. By having a line which follows this path, you will unknowingly guide the viewer through your shot. Try using multiple diagonals to guide the eye to one spot in the image by intersecting them where you want the attention to fall.

Do watch where the lines are going as if they lead out of the frame it can create a sense of wonder but equally, it could lead to frustration as your viewer doesn't know what's beyond the frame and as they've followed the direction of the line, they'll end up not looking at your shot. However, if you take the time to position yourself so the lines give the impression they meet / end where you want your main point of focus to be, you shouldn't have a problem.


For more information on the Nikon camera range, including the D800, D610, D7100, COOLPIX A and Nikon 1 AW1, visit the Nikon website. 

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