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Saturday, 8 May 2010

Horizontal and vertical lines

For this exercise the idea is to take 4 photographs of horizontal lines and 4 photographs of vertical lines; the idea being to find some of the different ways horizontal and vertical lines appear to us and appear through the viewfinder (confined in a frame). Something to note was as far as possible avoid using the same types of subject for the images.


The shots were taken on different locations, dates and times therefore the lighting conditions were different for each. I don’t think I pushed myself on this exercise too much and ended up with relatively obvious images.

At the beginning of the ‘Elements of Design’ section it was suggested to consider using the images in Mono / grey scale for the section; with the idea that without a colour distraction it could focus the attention of the design elements of the picture.


200mm f/5.6 1/250 ISO 100

I took this image of the steps in a close frame as possible, to reduce distractions and really emphasise the  lines.  The mono conversion also added strength from the original colour version; flat light on the stone/sand colour of the steps compared with the contrasted tones of the mono, strengthening the lines of the steps. 


18mm f/5.6 1/500 sec ISO 100

I chose this row of posts just across from Horse Guards Parade in London to demonstrate a row of points that are at a constant distance from the camera; the dark posts contrast against the light parade ground that creates the horizontal line. You may also notice the shade of the trees peak at the same line of posts strengthening the line further by creating a contrast between the bottom half of the frame with the top.

Just for fun; as the line is quite central and static I cropped the image for a more dramatic version.


55mm f/11 1/1000 ISO 400

Ok this is a bit of a cheat as this is an older image (pre-course) however as well as finding new images to fulfil the exercise criteria I always have a look at my ‘library’ of images to see if anything fits too. I could argue that if I had seen the red arrows this month I would have take this shot anyway.. Yeah ok maybe not, but it fit the exercise and I liked it. The contrast of the smoke from the planes against the lighter sky create the horizontal. The placement of the planes (points!) and implied direction along the line creates dynamic movement. I also used a non standard crop again to emphasis the horizontal.


109mm f/4.5 1/180 ISO 200

Trying to keep myself from repeating the types of horizontal lines (Man made) I tried to something a bit more natural and took this for a low tree line. The contrast between the light sky and dark trees create the line and a slight implied movement on the tips of the trees gives a calm blowing in the wind feel to it. I know I can do better, but it fit the exercise.


250mm f/5.6 1/30 sec ISO 100

Not much to say with this one. It is part of a railing, there is contrast of the shiny dark surface against an over blown depth of view that is now just white. It is a vertical line and the crop emphasis it. Again I know I can do better than this.


34mm f/4.5 1/90 sec ISO 100

These are some pillars that are close to Charing Cross station in London. I tool these in a vertical orientation to get the contrast of light shining against the facing surface against the shaded area facing away from the light. I was going to use the shadows for horizontals but the light wasn’t strong enough to create the shadow effect I was looking for. Although I think the strong vertical is what draws the intention there is also a diagonal created by the perspective of the pillars, adding some animation and movement going up from the verticals, and away from the diagonal perspective.


55mm f/5.6 1/90 sec ISO 100

I used a non-standard crop on this tree giving it a greater feeling of height. The edge of the frame, parallel to the tree ensures that the vertical is correct in our mind and the light bark contrasts with the darker bushes behind.


55mm f/22 1/6 sec ISO 100

Now I know I used the posts before by Horse Guards parade in London, but this was for the vertical line. However I found this an interesting one because although the light tips of the posts create a vertical line the perspective of the image also creates diagonal lines through the diminishing perspective, and in turn this perspective also creates a implied triangle. I still think the vertical holds it’s own as the dominant design element you can still see other elements with in the same simple image. If I had more height and the angle of the camera was pointed downwards more the diagonals would have less impact.

Horizontal & Vertical

42mm f10 1/45 sec ISO 100

This memorial is opposite the Horse Guards parade posts and It gave me an interesting image as far as the exercise goes. Firstly each soldier in the row is the same height and distance to the camera (creating a horizontal), strengthened by the ledge behind the soldiers heads and a close horizontal crop. However the vertical lines of the standing solders creates parallel verticals. In the end I think that the verticals have the dominance over horizontals because of the strong contrast of the black on the white.  There is also a certain of rhythm  to the alternating tones along the horizontal orientation.

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