Lines are visual elements of a photograph which draw the viewers sight into the photograph. Lines lead the eye to the subject of the image and thus add a visual appeal to the otherwise static and still photographs. Lines compliment the compositions with interesting dimensions and offer distinct characteristics. It draws the viewer’s eyes into the frame (when portrayed as the subject itself), to the center of interest (when complimenting the subject) and also adds an element of direction. Lines play an important role in landscape and architectural photography. While portraits convey moods with the help of expressions which add liveliness to the compositions; lines assist in enhancing the composition for landscapes and architecture. Lines portray movement and a sense of orientation towards the area of interest; and implicitly express vivacity. Different lines have different characteristics.
Vertical lines draw the viewers eye either upward the frame or to the depth portrayed in the photograph. Huge architectures, strong trees, etc stand erect commanding authority and respect owing to its vertical dimension. Similarly, when you include pillars in your composition; it heightens power, courage and hope.
Horizontal Lines and Horizons
Horizontal lines are apt for portraying horizons. The horizontal lines are directional; they guide the eyes to a certain direction and add third dimension to the image; encouraging intrusion in the photograph. Horizontal lines add resilience to the calm serenity of landscapes. They depict evenness and symmetry and create a mood of calmness, relaxation and sometimes loneliness.
Diagonal lines heighten the activity and movement. Diagonal lines divulge and diverge quick attention to the viewers perspective of a long leading path. It perfectly portrays the sense of movement. Diagonal lines may serve the purpose of placing your subjects diagonally in the rule of thirds. At times diagonal lines can also heighten abstractness and at other times it may induce variations.
Straight, Curved And Parallel Lines
Straight lines have nothing unusual about themselves; they induce a directional element to the scene; whereas the curved lines add elegance and style to the photograph. Curved lines portray the landscapes gracefully. Portray curved and straight lines in your frames judiciously to strike balance between the boldness of straight lines and elegance of curves.
You may additionally observe lines creating patterns; crossing lines, converging lines and the parallel lines. These lines add interest, activity and dynamic aspect to the subtlety of surroundings. Portray these lines as subject to voice their destinations.
Lines add interesting patterns to your compositions. Discover and portray the lines to lead the eye. Look around yourself to spot interesting (and prominent) lines. Portray railway tracks, tunnels, horizons, trees, architectures, beam of light, fences, etc as the subject or use them to draw the viewer’s eye to the center of focus.