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Creative Composition: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques by Harold Davis

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Chapter 4. Photography is design

Pages 156–157:1 photographed these Gazania petals close-up to create an abstract composition of lines and shapes.: 105mm macro. 36mm extension tube, +4 close-up filter, 1.3 seconds at f/40 and ISO 200, tripod mounted

Figure 4.1. Pages 156–157:1 photographed these Gazania petals close-up to create an abstract composition of lines and shapes.: 105mm macro. 36mm extension tube, +4 close-up filter, 1.3 seconds at f/40 and ISO 200, tripod mounted

Lines

The world around us is filled with lines; outlines and wisps of clouds, silhouettes of mountains, telephone lines stretching from pole to pole, and so on. Lines connect points to create shapes. Shapes have edges, and edges are themselves lines.

Lines and edges define the way we see, and they are fundamental to photographic composition.

Think about lines for a moment. Lines have a direction: they are horizontal, vertical or diagonal. A straight line looks different from a curved line. Lines have width; they can be wide or thin. Some lines are dark; some are light. A line going from dark to light may look like it is fading to nothing; a line going from light to dark appears to be developing. Some lines are simply more expressive than other lines.

Despite the importance of lines, we don't typically photograph lines by themselves; rather, we see a composition with shapes that are reduced via abstraction into horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines... triangles, curves, circles and so on. Use lines to make your compositions more compelling.

Look for the lines in a scene and use them creatively. Begin by pre-visualizing your compositions ...

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