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Tuesday, 11 May 2010


For this exercise, the idea is to take 4 photographs that use diagonals strongly, the course text suggests that diagonals can be easier to create in photography as they depend a lot on viewpoint, with camera angles and perspective making them more common in photographs.


In preparation to this exercise my mind went back to the exercise on focal lengths and perspective where the converging (diagonal) lines created a sense of depth in the photograph. Carrying on with the theme that a lot of the elements relate and compliment each other I’ve also had a look through other images that I have taken that also show diagonals.


55mm f/22 1/30 sec ISO 100

I know I’ve used these posts before but they were a great example with no distractions in the photo. I used the same set of posts in the vertical line image, and in that there was already a slight linear perspective and triangle due to the height angle, however by taking a step to the left and taking another shot it has emphasised depth (created by the perspective) through the strong diagonal.

To keep the practice of trying different orientations for the images, I also took the same subject from a vertical orientation, which also provided the unplanned side effect of being able able to compare the shots of diagonal lines with the shot I took to demonstrate vertical lines.

So although I noted that diagonals exist in the vertical line image they are considerably stronger where I took the image from a side step.


18mm f/10 1/30 sec ISO 100

The linear perspective is created by the strong diagonal for the tree. The contrast of the dark wood and shadow it creates against the lighter ground highlights the diagonal line. Triangles have also appeared along the diagonal line and sides of the frame.


55mm f/13 1/60 sec ISO 400

This is just the grass line and stones in my garden, The contrast between the dark of the grass against the light stones creates a definitive line that the eye can follow, implying movement and some distance; The placement of the stepping stones also create mini diagonals and zigzags following along the grass line; the diagonal line leads you up the garden path


18mm f/4 1/60 sec ISO 400

The diagonals for the dado rail, banister and the stairs all create diagonals up the stairs towards the door directing the eye up creating movement and direction. The image also creates a triangle shape. I also finds the image a little creepy, film ‘The Shining’ came to mind..

In the interests of experimenting and practicing alternative framing I took the same shot in a vertical orientation, plus I changed the focal length to see how this would effect the perspective.


I like the vertical orientation (18mm shot) as I feel it emphasises the narrowness of the stairs, it also allowed more stairs (also horizontals) into the frame, creating more height. With the 55mm image, taking apart the fact that there is less angle of view, what is interesting is the compression effect on the perspective. You can see this most clearly in the angle of the banister/dado rail (diagonals) against the door (vertical), in the 55mm shot the angle has been compressed and visibly less. 


18mm f/22 3 sec ISO 100

I know the exercise called for only 4 examples but I just liked this image and it fit the subject with the strong contrast of the chips against the white background. I wanted to create a diagonal by showing that even though these lines of chips are parallel to each other, the position and angle can create and strengthen a diagonal so that the lines look like they converge. Also there is a vertical of the darker chips, by changing the position of the camera that also seemingly converges at the top (diminishing perspective); and using wide focal length to emphasise these diagonals.


18mm f/4.8 1/300 sec ISO 80

I always look back at older images in my library and I noticed quite a few that had strong diagonals in them too. This one caught my eye though, it is of Kanchanaburi war Cemetery for the soldiers and military personnel who lost their lives building the the Thailand – Burma railway close to the ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’. The diagonals lines are created by the contrast of the grass and the memorials. The diagonals also make up some quite obvious triangles in the overall picture too.

One of the big things I noticed during the exercise was the obvious ‘triangles’ that appear in the images. There is more to follow about triangles and I will no doubt be referring back to to this exercise/post when I get to it.

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