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Lens Apertures
Shutter Speeds
Calculating Exposure
Exposure Bracketing
Exposure Summary

Digital Tools
White Balance
Taming Contrast
Sharp Pictures
Depth of Field
Tools Summary

Rule of Thirds
Using Lines
Using the Shutter
Using the Aperture
Composition Summary

Showing your Pictures

Using Lines

Lines are dynamic - and they are everywhere!

Lines occur in nature; lines occur in architecture; lines occur in the human body.  Lines ARE everywhere!  Using lines can make or break a photo.  Our eyes tend to follow lines in a picture. 

Look at the fluffy feathers on the right side of the picture that help "point" your eyes to the subject. Look at the way the vertical lines of the Egret's wing point to it's head.  An the graceful "S" curve of it's neck takes your eyes on a ride from the body to the head.  You don't consciously think of all of these things, but your eyes are automatically are directed in this way.

Life is 3-dimensional. You take a 3-dimensional scene and put it on a 2-dimensional piece of paper and you lose more than one dimension!  You lose depth.  Lines can help restore depth in a picture.

Lines can help to pinpoint your subject to the viewer.  Look at the second picture - how the fence and the walk converge where the lone person is walking.  Your eyes automatically are directed in that direction.

In the third picture, the vertical church steeple conveys an emotion of strength and power.

Different kinds of lines, just as certain colors, can evoke different emotions: Horizontal lines can evoke a peaceful emotion.  Vertical lines evoke emotions of authority and respect and diagonal lines convey movement.

Type of Line Emotion Example
Horizontal Peaceful Water
Vertical Authority Architecture
Diagonal Movement River, Fence, etc.


Make use of lines wherever you can.  They help the viewer "see" your subject.  And if the viewer doesn't automatically know what your subject is, your picture "fails"!

All images and content © Copyright 1999-2010 Bert Sirkin