Exercise – Implied Lines

Two things to bear in mind are that the eyes follow a line, and that it also tries to construct a line from appropriate suggestions as clear line provides a natural path for the eye, which moves along it. The more active the line, the stronger the encouragement for the eye to follow it, hence diagonals and curves work better in this way than verticals and horizontals.

• The Art Of Photography  (OCA course book), Part 2, Using Lines In Composition, p.81

Requirements:

Part 1: Look at the two provided photographs and find the implied lines by way of indications or arrows.

Part 2: Select three already taken photographs and find the implied lines in each.

Part 3: Take two new photographs that each contain either an eye line or the extension of a line or lines that point.

 

Part 1

Image 1

Pt2E6-02

In this image the strongest implied lines are suggested by the postures of both the man and the bull. The flow of his cape, and the two principal colours in it also give rise to more implied lines, whose direction seems to flow or point inwards to the centre of the image. The implied line suggested by the bull is mostly due to it’s apparent motion or direction of travel, again to the centre of the image.

Image 2

Pt2E6-01

In this image, the most obvious implied lines are those suggested by the direction in which the man appears to be moving, the eye line of both of the horses (with that being so especially for the horse in the foreground) closest to the man, as well as that of the apparent angle at which the horses appear to be standing or moving at. The strongest line for me is that of the horses postures, as it dominates the image, and is the immediate focus of the eye when first seen. I think the implied lines given by all three subjects makes for a very compact image, and helps to focus attention on the very dynamic quality of the image as a whole.

 

Part 2

Photo 1

ISO400, 98mm, f/5.6, 1/50sec Glass bottles embedded in wall

ISO400, 98mm, f/5.6, 1/50sec
Glass bottles embedded in wall

In this photo the alignment of the bottles gives rise to very many combinations of implied lines, with not all being indicated. The grouping of the bottles as a whole also suggest some directionality, as in pointing upwards.

 

Photo 2

ISO640, 105mm, f/11, 1/320sec
Boats on Fewa Lake.
Pokhara, Nepal

The implied lines in this photo are much simpler, and maybe not as clear, certainly not as strong as in the previous photo.  The line up of the thin poles leading into the lake is principal to the image as a whole, but the boat in the background suggests movement in a certain direction, whether it is actually doing so or not.

 

Photo 3

ISO400, 26mm, f/5.6, 1/640sec A procession of women celebrating a local festival

ISO400, 26mm, f/5.6, 1/640sec
A procession of women celebrating a local festival.
Chapagaun, Kathmandu, Nepal

The strongest element of the implied lines in this photo is chiefly one of direction. The women all face the same direction, though their slow movement forward may not be so apparent.

 

Part 3

Photo 1

ISO800, 58mm, f/5, 1/4000sec Signpost to the world Kakani, Nepal

ISO800, 58mm, f/5, 1/4000sec
Signpost to the world
Kakani, Nepal

The implied lines are are clear as the the arrows of direction. It is natural to extend ones gaze to follow the indications into the distance, especially when presented with a wider view.

 

Photo 2

ISO400, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 Microwave relay mast, Jhamsikhel, Kathmandu, Nepal

ISO400, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/1250
Microwave relay mast.
Jhamsikhel, Kathmandu, Nepal

Unless you knew what this is, one might not notice or recognise the implied lines in this image, certainly not as readily as in the previous photo. Here the wire mesh dishes of a microwave relay mast imply direction, pointing to where signals are being sent or received from.

 

It took me a while to get the point of the exercise, despite it being readily described. Maybe I somehow lack the ability to see implied lines in photos, they are not always apparent to me. At least one thing it has taught me is to probe deeper into an image for them, especially when need requires.

 

Exercise – Curves

Curves, like diagonals, have a sense of movement and direction, and is some ways can be considered a kind of diagonal line. Because they pull the eye in, they are useful in planned composition. Curves have associations of smoothness, grace and elegance, and so add these feelings to an image.

• The Art Of Photography  (OCA course book), Part 2, Curves, p.80

Requirement: Look for and take photographs containing curves that emphasise movement or direction – (4 photographs)

Photo 1

ISO400, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/400sec

ISO400, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/400sec
Wind toy

I think the curves in this composed photograph give a sense of movement. It may not be obvious in this view that is part of a wind-driven toy, but the whole structure of it is meant to impart movement.

Photo 2

ISO125, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/30sec
The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

I like the simple and obviously functional curvature of this building.

Photo 3

ISO1600, 80mm, f/5.3, 1/20sec
Concrete and brick sculpture, Benjasiri Park, Bangkok, Thailand

A section of a sculpted structure, that in whole formed two simple ovals.

Photo 4

ISO200, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/125sec Fern, Shivapuri Forest, Kathmandu, Nepal

ISO200, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/125sec
Fern, Shivapuri Forest, Kathmandu, Nepal

The gentle organic curves of these fern leaves suggests the constant direction of their typically rapid growth.

Exercise – Diagonals

“Diagonal lines are rather easier to create in a photograph, as they depend mainly on viewpoint. Whereas many scenes contain real horizontals and verticals – streets and buildings, for instance – there are few real diagonals, staircases are one of only a few instances. the camera angle and perspective, however, make dials common in photographs.”

• The Art Of Photography  (OCA course book), Part 2, Diagonals, p.78

Requirement: 4 photographs photographs showing strong diagonals

Photo 1

ISO200, 98mm, f/10, 1/800sec

ISO200, 98mm, f/10, 1/800sec
Cornerstone section of Buddhist stupa

Photo 2

ISO100, 25mm, f/4, 1/500sec

ISO100, 25mm, f/4, 1/500sec
Centrepoint Thung Lo Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Photo 3

ISO100, 40mm, f/4.5, 1/500sec

ISO100, 40mm, f/4.5, 1/500sec
Wooden decking around swimming pool

Photo 4

ISO100, 105mm, f/11, 1/160sec

ISO100, 105mm, f/11, 1/160sec
Office building, Bangkok, Thailand

Photo Of The Day – Climbing Tall

Climbing Tall

ISO400, 40mm, f/6.3, 1/2000sec

ISO400, 40mm, f/6.3, 1/2000sec

A man (he was surprisingly old) climbs to the top of this wood and vine tower, sat atop a very large wooden-wheeled “chariot”, during a phase of it’s construction. It is later hauled by rope through the streets of Patan by gangs of men as part of the annual festival called Rato Machhendranath. It is held in honour of the God of Rain, venerated by both Hindus and Buddhists alike. I’ve seen this festival twice and it’s always amazes me. A huge crowd is always along to follow it’s often precarious procession through the streets.

Pulchowk, Kathmandu, Nepal – 11 May 2013

The Afghan Girl

I watched a quite interesting documentary last night – Search For The Afghan Girl – about the search a photographer made to find an Afghan girl he once took a now very famous photograph of. The film documents how he came across the then 10 or 11 year old in a refugee camp school in Pakistan in 1985, taking her photo (with her permission) before parting, with her apparently becoming lost to the ravages of a war-torn country. The photographer, Steve McCurry, then spent the next 17 years wondering what became of her, and after a series of failed attempts in the intervening years to find her in Pakistan, made one last attempt in 2002 to do so. National Geographic went along to document his search and reveal the outcome.

 

National Geographic Magazine – Steve McCurry – 1985

 

It is well worth watching, and the original National Geographic magazine article that the image accompanied puts it into some context, as well as the story after the story. It serves to highlight the power that a single photograph can have (it moved many people to aid in the relief work in some of the refugee camps), and has been described as National Geographic’s most well known cover photo (June 1985), as well as being one of the most enduring photographs ever taken. Very high praise indeed!

Corey Rich Productions

Corey Rich Productions

news.coreyrich.com

news.coreyrich.com

I am an admirer of the adventure photographer and videographer Corey Rich. His blog is always interesting to read for the details and stories he tells behind some of the photographic and video work he’s done as well as generally sharing aspects of his knowledge and techniques. As well as the link above, more of his work can be seen on Vimeo and Nikon USA

Exercise – Horizontal and Vertical Lines

“Lines in photography are usually the edges of things, and the quality that makes them stand out is, more often than not, contrast. In other words, the edge of something bright against a dark background, or vice versa, is how lines normally appear to our eyes. Lines can occur by implication, with our imagination making the connection between points.”

• The Art Of Photography, Part 2, Lines, p.74

For this exercise, 8 photographs showing examples of lines, both horizontal and vertical. The aim of the exercise is to “find some of the differnet ways in which horizontal and vertical lines appear to the eye and camera”

Horizontal Lines

Photo 1

ISO400, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/160sec

ISO400, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/160sec

This photo shows flattened bamboo poles that were being used in the wall of a house under construction to provide a kind of insulation. I zoomed in on a small section of it.

 

Photo 2

ISO640, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/30sec

ISO640, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/30sec

At the same property as above, but a part of the construction that was being completed using bricks. I stood quite close to the wall, but at the same time zoomed in.

 

Photo 3

ISO800, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/320sec

ISO800, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/320sec

This house was turning out to be a treasure trove of horizontal lines. This image is of ceiling height planking. Again I choose to zoom in to try and get a sense of the different textures and colours of the wood grain.

 

Photo 4

ISO200, 105mm, f/8, 1/40sec

ISO200, 105mm, f/8, 1/40sec

Walking around the neighbourhood I came across a steep set of brick steps that had strong highlights across the flat of each step. I zoomed in strengthen the effect.

 

Vertical

Photo 1

ISO400, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/800sec

ISO400, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/800sec

The Kathmandu Valley is home to a very large number of earthen brick factories. It’s very common to come across piles of neatly laid bricks, awaiting delivery. I walked up faily close to a pile for this image. I think if I had kept to a wider view then a stronger or clearer vertical line effect may have resulted.

 

Photo 2

ISO400, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/320sec

ISO400, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/320sec

This is a painted concrete column attached to a part of my house. The alternating light and shadowed edges of the physical relief form the vertical lines. Another zoomed in photograph for effect.

 

Photo 3

ISO400, 50mm, f/5, 1/80sec

ISO400, 50mm, f/5, 1/80sec

This was one image in which the lines were not at first obvious to the eye, but became much more so when viewed through the confines of the camera frame. It’s a knotted weave rug. It’s quite colourful and textured., I like it.

 

Photo 4

ISO1600, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/15sec

ISO1600, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/15sec

This may have been the laziest photo of all to take. Sitting on my sofa on night, I noticed the vertically arrayed folds of a curtain and took the shot. I didn’t even have to put my beer down!

 

I think the most successful of the photos, as seen by the camera, is the 4th horizontal photo. Within the confines of the frame  one’s eye is drawn the the long bright reflective highlights of the edges of the brick steps. But the most successful as the eye sees it, for me, was the rows of bricks. The image of the bricks is a zoomed in view of a much larger wall of loosely piled bricks, and upon first observing I almost immediately saw the rows and column of their arrangement. i didm not have to seek out this pattern, as in say any of the other images.

The least successful is probably the 2nd horizontal image. Whilst the horizontal lines are continuous and unbroken, the effect is somewhat lessened by the short discontinuous vertical lines created by the end-layed bricks.

I found that I had to actively seek out examples of both and horizontal lines as they were not always immediately obvious. I guess that may not say much for my powers of observation. I think I also took the requirements too literally in looking for definite examples, usually by zooming close-in on the details of the subject to show the required qualities.