Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Thing About Lines Part 2

by Deanna

Our monthly theme for the month of May is leading lines. I think we all know what that means, but in case you need a little reminder I am pulling back into my archives and editing and re-publishing a blog post I wrote back in 2015. The principles that applied in 2015, are still applicable today. 

Lou Nettlehorst was the speaker at our monthly meeting of our MAPS (Morton Arboretum Photography Society) a couple of years ago.  Lou is very well known photography and loved all over the Chicagoland area because of his tremendous knowledge of photography, his amazing skills of teaching, and his terrific personality. I went to the Smokey Mountains with Lou and a group of photographers about 3 years ago and plan on attending another of his workshops to Colorado in September.  

He began by saying that you must have good design to create an image that:
  • evokes feelings
  • expresses ideas clearly, or
  • records scenes, objects or events effectively
Then he went on to discuss the building blocks of visual design:
Light - Line - Shape - Texture - Perspective

I am certainly not going to go into each of these building blocks but I decided to focus on one. Lines have always intrigued me in their shape, form, and design.  Lines are certainly the most prevalent design element. They can easily be seen because of their tonal or color contrast. Lines easily define shapes and clarify spaces between areas and they can lead us to places.

I decided to look back into my archives plus add a few from my recent trip to Michigan and find some images that fall into this design element.

Straight lines 1) have a sense of purpose  2) define shapes  3) can take us to & from areas in a scene

Whereas curving lines 1) may create a more relaxed trip through the photograph  2) may be sensual or tranquil.  The 3 photos above fits into both of these categories, the straight lines provide structure, whereas the curving lines take us to an unknown space.

When making a scene with lines as the prevalent design element consider:
  • they carry visual weight - thin less impact than thick
  • straight ones may convey rigidity and structure
  • horizontal may impart calm or a stable feeling
  • vertical may convey stiffness and formality, strength or growth
  • oblique or angled may convey a sense of motion
"Line is a rich metaphor for the artist. It denotes not only boundary, edge or contour, but is an agent for location, energy, and growth. It is literally movement and change - life itself." ~  Lance Epsland


Carol said...

Beautiful photos and great lesson that bears repeating.

Dotti said...

Ditto what Carol said! These are lovely photos and perfect illustrations of the tips you're passing along to us. It sounds like your trip to Michigan was a huge success.

Sarah Huizenga said...

I must like structure because I am always photographing straight lines.

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