Exercise: Horizontal and vertical lines (TAoP)

Take three pictures of horizontal and four of vertical lines. Try to avoid repeating the way a line appears and also to subordinate the content of the image to the line.

The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the effect that deliberate use of lines can produce in an image. There are three types of basic straight line that can be included in a photograph; horizontal, vertical and diagonal and this exercise considers the first two of these.

After reading the brief I started noticing lines everywhere! Several times when out and about I found myself not only without my Nikon but also without my digital camera (I usually try to have this on me at all times) which was a pain as I missed some cracking opportunities for this exercise. I wanted to make a conscious effort to avoid obvious lines such as road markings and railway tracks.

hor 3

In this image the lining of the drain appears horizontal. The pavement can be partly seen to the left of the image, meaning that on approaching the drain from this way it appears horizontal. However, it could also appear vertical if approaching at a different angle.



This is a strong representation for horizontal. The fencing runs parallel to a wall (far bottom of the shot). It was fairly windy out – which is why several of the leaves are not in focus.

This image uses horizontals well. The graffiti emphasises this as the eye automatically views the words from let to right (horizontally) It also adds a layering effect to each step making them more notice to the eye. (A set of stairs all the same colour may have a lesser effect as the colouring/shades will all be very similar almost forming a block of colour and depreciating the horizontal effect.)

I think the word ‘vertical’ sometimes has implications of huge towering heights i.e trees, builings etc. I wanted to find an example of vertical that didnt necessarily follow this. These tree stumps are perfect. They are clearly vertical but don’t have a huge dramatic ‘vertical’ feel as they appear ‘stumpy’.

The iron railings are a strong example of vertical lines. Again the graffiti adds a bit of interest to a some what boring image. I decided to open the gates as the rails appeared slightly diagonal from where i was standing.

vertical 1

I actually quite like this image. Vertical does not mean ‘dead straight’ either and these railings demonstrate that. I wanted to capture vertical but not straight, but this had resulted in some diagonal images so this railing was perfect.


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