Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Learn composition by example: The diagonal

If you have been following this blog, you may remember a series of short posts about basic composition techniques in the Art-iculations category. These were written for beginners by a beginner (moi). My Flickr friend Rick (word artist), a very accomplished photographer with a brilliant sense of composition, has embarked upon a similar series for the Flickr group Learn Composition by Example, providing far more information and examples than I did. Previous posts on this subject can be found here:
Leading lines
Negative space
The S-curve
Recently, he posted his thoughts on the diagonal as a composition technique, with 19 photographs as illustration of his points (also to be found in his blog), ranging as usual from the most basic to the advanced very subtle and thought provoking uses. For this topic I have picked a shot by my Flickr friend Andy57 (Like no other), which Rick commented on as follows: "Placing the longer axis of a subject along the image’s diagonal does more than simply fill the frame. Depending on the subject, the angle required to achieve this can create an additional sense of dynamism. What is the reality here? Does hair really fall in that way (even if assisted by wind)? Or is this portrait shot from an angle that allows the subject to fly across the frame, removing negative space and taking on a vibrancy far more impactful that would exist if the image were straight? The use of the unconventional angle creates that sense of motion – it no longer matters whether the model is really leaning forward like that, or whether the camera is simply above her. There is life in the motion." Like the others in this series, highly recommended to expand your compositional horizon.

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