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How To Use The Power Of Lines To Improve Your Landscape Photography

Did you know that you can use diagonal lines to guide the eye, add interest and more to your landscape shots? If you didn't, here are 4 top tips on the subject for you to peruse.

|  Landscape and Travel
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Landscape with fence and trees
 
 
We've spoken before on how lines are great tools for guiding the eye through an image but don't think these have to always be horizontal or vertical as quite often, diagonal lines can add more interest and depth, guiding the eye across the image.
 

1. Where Should I Look For Them? 

Rivers, walls and cracks in the ice are just three examples of how you can create diagonals within your landscape shots. Just remember you may have to alter the angle, height or position you're working at to see these natural elements take on the shape you need.

 

2. Use Diagonal Lines As A Guide

The eye often looks at the bottom left of an image first before working across the shot to the top right corner so by having a line which follows this path, intercepting interesting elements as it goes will unknowingly guide the viewer through your shot. They're particularly useful in shots where you have lots and lots of different elements that without a 'guide' would just look chaotic and the eye wouldn't know what to look at first. Try using multiple diagonals to guide the eye to one spot in the image by intersecting them where you want the attention to fall.

 

Landscape

 

3. Don't Split Your Shot Into Two

If you position your diagonal so it flows from one corner to another your shot can look like it's split in two and won't work right compositionally. Instead, try shifting the line up slightly so it starts just above the bottom corner instead.

 

4. How Many Are Too Many?

Don't get too carried away using too many diagonals as your shot will just end up looking busy and the eye won't know where to focus. However, a few repetitive lines such as those left by a tractor in a field or the shapes left in the sand by the wind can work well as abstract landscape shots. Just shoot from a higher viewpoint and use a longer focal length with a smaller aperture to maximise depth of field. At the coast, try photographing footprints left in wet sand or the patterns left by the tide as it moves down the beach.

 

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Comments


JackAllTog Plus
12 6.3k 58 United Kingdom
12 May 2016 10:05AM
"If you position your diagonal so it flows from one corner to another your shot can look like it's split in two and won't work right compositionally. Instead, try shifting the line up slightly so it starts just above the bottom corner instead."

Thanks, interesting point - i always tries to get the lines in the corners previously.
franken Plus
18 5.3k 4 United Kingdom
12 May 2019 8:02AM
6144_1557644505.jpg

franken Plus
18 5.3k 4 United Kingdom
12 May 2019 8:03AM
6144_1557644613.jpg
alan53 13 United Kingdom
14 May 2021 2:33PM
And to think I never realized how those pylons and power cables would improve my landscapes!

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