Utilizing Lines in your Composition

Busy at Harvest - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009- All Rights Reserved

Busy at Harvest - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009- All Rights Reserved

Lines are wonderful elements in a photograph. They draw the viewer’s eye through the image from one spot to the next, sometimes all the way around and sometimes in one direction. In the image above the line in the wheat as well as the direction of the combine leads you to the other elements in the scene.

Truck Fills the Landscape - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved

Truck Fills the Landscape - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved

Lines can put emphasis on distance or illustrate a relationship between foreground and background elements. The truck in the image above acts as a leading line as well as gives some perspective to the combine hard at work in the background.

Riding the Slope - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved

Riding the Slope - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved

Curved lines or S curves suggest sensuality, elegance and a serene sense of balance.  S curves don’t necessarily need to be S-shaped; any form of a winding line can be used.


Combine at Work - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved

Combine at Work - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved

Using lines can definitely add impact to your compositions but remember to keep the lines simple and don’t let them take attention away from the intended subject. Have fun shooting in the Palouse and look for the opportunity to use the natural lines that are abundant in this region.
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