Exercise: Implied lines (TAoP)

Part one – look at the two photographs (from OCA handbook) and mark the implied lines in each in a small diagram. 

Part two – perform the same analysis on three of your photographs ,take two photographs that show i) an eye-line and ii) the extension of a line, or lines that point. 

The purpose of this exercise is to show how implied lines (lines that are not physically present but are visually imagined point in a direction) can be used to direct the viewer’s eye in a certain direction, giving some control as to how the image is perceived.

bull fighter

sicilian horses

I think there is no right or wrong answer to this part of the exercise. People interpret things differently from one another. In the 1st picture the most dominant line for me is the movement of the matadors cape – this may be exaggerated by the curved line in the dirt running parallel to the implied movement. For the second picture I think the movement implied by the angle of the horses is the most dominant, especially the elongation of the horses neck and angle of its head.

The next part of the exercise required us to demonstrate implied lines and eye lines.

                                                                           This picture uses eye line in a very strong way. Not only is the eye line obvious, but it is heightened by the concentration on my friends face. Not a great picture in relation to its technical specifications – but a good demonstration of eye line.

                                                                           This image implies a line along the footpath. You could also include the lines of the trees, but I felt the path was the only one that really stood out for me.

implied statue                                                                                          Again, another strong eye line image. I feel like the lion’s eye line is slightly more dominant due to the angle of it’s head and the direction it is facing.

river                                                                           And finally a picture including 2 directional lines that are almost mirroring/ parallel to one another. The footpath to the left follows the path of the river very tightly. I think the implied line of the river is stronger than that of the path as the pathway is less noticeable.

This exercise helped me to understand the importance of some kind of direction for the viewer. There must be some form of implication in order to make an interesting image. I also discovered that these implied lines can vary greatly, from something fairly small (a subtle curve in architecture, a direction of someones body) to something larger (a busy road, a dominant eye line) and that most images do incorporate some form of implied lines. Being able to spot these before taking the picture and enhance them through perspective comes with practice!

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