Why & How To Use Vertical Lines In Your Photos

Here are a few reasons why you should try to use vertical lines in your images.

|  General Photography
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Vertical lines

Photo by David Clapp

Why Photograph Vertical Lines?

Lines going up and sometimes out of frame can convey a sense of growth, strength and power as well as create interesting patterns within your images.

Shoot Portrait Or Landscape?

Switching from landscape to portrait mode lengthens the frame you're working with, emphasising the length/height of the vertical lines. Turning the camera back around to horizontal format works well when you have multiple vertical lines going through the frame as you'll be able to get more in shot and it can help create the impression that the objects you're photographing are so tall that you can't fit them all in frame.

Straight Lines

Make sure your vertical lines run parallel to the sides of your frame as wonky, slopping lines will mean your shot lacks impact. Keep an eye out for converging verticals too. If you find you're having a problem with them try and work from higher up to put you more in line with the object you're photographing, switch to a focal length that's not as wide or you can take the shot and adjust the photo in Photoshop or another similar piece of editing software later on.


Photo David Burleson


Putting a vertical line in the centre of the frame will cut your image in half which does create strong impact and maybe something you like, however most of the time it's best to position the object / shape more to the left of right of the image.

Get Repetitive

Repeating patterns and symmetry works well when you have multiple vertical lines in your shots. Just remember to have a play around with the orientation of the shot to see which way emphasises the pattern you're trying to create more.

Adds Depth

When you have lots of the same object in a line, take a line of trees along a path for example, you can stand at the top of the path, point your lens down it and you'll see the trees, or whatever lines the edge of your shot, create depth as they vanish towards the back of your image. Just remember the items creating the vertical lines need to be of roughly the same height.


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