This photography challenge primarily has to do with composition, but it’s got a bit of technique thrown in as well. I’ll discuss the technique at the end of this post. First, I’d like to talk about enhancing composition using lines. Picture in your mind a photo with many thick horizontal objects in it. What type of feeling do you get from that? For me, I think about strength and boldness. And for some reason, I think of steel or something that’s very strong. That’s just me. Obviously, every line you see in an image won’t be made of metal, but still, horizontal lines do portray a certain feeling of stability and peace. If you’re attempting to portray strength, you may want to look into how you can situate yourself in such a way as to take advantage of the objects in the scene.
Diagonal lines add a totally different flavor to a photo. I tend to think about something more artistic when it comes to being diagonal. This is probably because certain modern artists like to paint with flair and exuberance. You know, sort of like if you twist your camera a bit, you get a picture that looks fun and exciting as opposed to one that’s perfectly straight and somewhat dull. So if you’re going for a photo that’s fresh, look for diagonal lines in the scene.
Take a look at these sample photos. Notice which direction the lines go in them and think about the feeling you get from each one.
Head out with your camera and take notice of lines in your scene and use those lines to evoke a certain feeling. You may be surprised at how many photo ops you’ve been missing through the years simply because you haven’t thought of this type of thing before.
Now to the technical part of this post. When taking photos of these types of scenes, you may have some movement involved. In the first two sample images above, there were moving cars and moving waves. Because of this movement, you’ll need to be cognizant of your camera’s shutter speed. If you’d like to do some long exposure shots to include some light trails in the cityscape, go ahead and slow down that shutter. The thing is, if you attempt the same technique with moving water, you’re likely to erase those dramatic lines all together. To capture moving water so it’s still, you’ll need to speed up your camera’s shutter speed.
You’ll also need to be aware of your aperture. With the water shot above, the foreground as well as the background was in focus. Please see this post that deals with how to deal with this type of a situation. This probably isn’t the type of shooting that you’d want to add blur and bokeh to a scene, so you may have to use full manual mode to get what you want. Speed up or slow down your shutter speed and set your aperture appropriately. Let your camera set the ISO automatically.
When you complete this challenge, be sure to link to your images here for review and critique. Include your specs as well, such as your camera make and model, lens used, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings. Include your distance from or scale of your scene as well. We want to know it all so we can get a grasp of what went on while you were shooting and how you managed to take your photos. Good luck.