Exercise 1.3 (2) Line

Take a number of shots using lines to flatten the pictorial space. To avoid the effects
of perspective, the sensor/film plane should be parallel to the subject and you may
like to try a high viewpoint (i.e. looking down). Modern architecture offers strong
lines and dynamic diagonals, and zooming in can help to create simpler, more
abstract compositions.

Review your shots from both parts of Exercise 1.3. How do the different lines relate
to the frame? There’s an important difference from the point exercises: a line can
leave the frame. For perpendicular lines this doesn’t seem to disrupt the composition
too much, but for perspective lines the eye travels quickly along the diagonal and
straight out of the picture. It feels uncomfortable because the eye seems to have no
way back into the picture except the point that it started from. So for photographs
containing strong perspective lines or ‘leading lines’, it’s important that they lead.

I spent some time looking at the work made by the Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy, my interest was piqued by the picture in the course materials. The Bauhaus online resource is fascinating (I was familiar with the work of Walter Gropius) and one work emphasised the look I wanted to achieve in meeting the requirement of the exercise, ‘using lines to flatten the pictorial space’ Interestingly it was a painting rather than a photograph.

Construction Z1 has a mix of sharp intersecting line and shapes, there is an interesting use of colour and also what might be the reflection of glass or some other transparent material. this eve me an idea that I followed up upon. I sought to flatten space and create an abstract feel to the images.







I took the theme a little further and sought out some architecture with strong lines that I photographed at right angles to keep the flat face on composition, emphasising a zero element of perspective, trying to keep the sensor/film plane parallel to the subject.

Flat 3 (1 of 1)

Although the shadows hint at perspective and depth, an effect I was striving to avoid, the flat plane effect is still quite strong I feel.

Flat 1 (1 of 1)

This image was far more experimental. Whilst more than 50% of the image is flat, the sharp angular form of the building I think dominates the image, retaining to a large extent the desired flat effect. The exercises clearly demonstrate there are ways o control whether an image has depth or not and therefore are tools the photographer has at their disposal to express the theme or idea they are setting out to create.


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