I love lines. This is nothing new, I've mentioned this before. Primary diagonals or curving, repeating or contrasting, vanishing, vertical, horizontal... they excite me. Have you really thought about the way lines can be used to invite a deeper look at your photographs? The way they can control what the viewer looks at first? What they look at last? The kind of order lines can bring to the chaos of a potential scene.
Remember that show in the 90's "Whose Line Is It Anyways?" Where, without any preamble, the actors were given a surprise scene or significant line and they had to run with it, build on it, and find a way to spontaneously make it workable and enjoyable? That's how I often approach my photographic rambles. Especially when I'm scouting a place I've never been to with the camera. I get to a location, and whatever is at my disposal visually is what I have to work with. I make deliberate choices to size up what has the greatest impact, and I run with it. After doing this for the last five years, I've realized I size up locations very quickly, finding what will be of significance visually or what I really relate to, or what dazzles me, and I begin to build on it. I take the light and the weather into consideration, the other subject matter in close proximity, and then I decide where the most powerful lines and shapes are.
I zeroed in on the stark yellow line of unfinished balconies against the glass of blue sky on this unfinished condo the other day, while visiting a new location on one of my architectural rambles. I knew the colors would pop against each other, helping to define the central theme of the photo. I also knew that placing them on the diagonal in the frame (while often overused) would expand how the eye travelled through the photograph. I chose to place the yellow lines tracking across the frame in the primary diagonal, naturally causing the viewer to travel over and down naturally, with the contrasting blue spaces and lines tracking along the secondary diagonal up and out to the edges of the photo. By the time you're done looking at the photograph your eye has covered the entire image, other little details and items are brought to your attention with an element of discovery in place, and will come back to rest on the balconies again, grounding a simple scene taken out of context and making it into a subject of it's own.
Whew! See what a little forethought concerning simple lines can do?
Thanks for the ramble folks! Now get out there and use lines to build engaging images, no matter what the subject matter!
And if you'd like to view this image slightly bigger, you can click on the image above or see it here.
Have a good one!