Sunday, 8 May 2011

Exercise: Implied Lines

The brief required me to:
  1. look at the two photographs, the bullfighting scene and Threshing Corn in Sicily, and find the implied lines, sketching them for the purpose of the learning log;
  2. perform the same analysis on three of my own photographs; and
  3. take two photographs where the following kinds of implied line lead the eye:
  • an eye-line; and
  • the extension of line or lines to a point.
1.  Text photographs
In the Bullfight scene above the implied lines converge into the centre of the photograph.  There are two lines directly associated with the bull's movement, the eye-line of the matador and the lines constructed through the "sticks" supporting the red "flag".  I have also made use of the curved line traced in the sand to extend into the "stick" held in the matador's left hand.  This adds strongly into the dynamics of the photograph, bringing the focus into the centre.

Gottard Schuh, Threshing Corn in Sicily
The implied lines in Schuh's photograph are primarily eye-lines.  I have constructed these on the photograph above.  The most dynamic of these are the ones from the two horses, which, combined with the angle of their bodies provide a strong perception of their movement in a curve.  This is added to by the feeling that the farm-worker  is at the pivot of this curved movement and this is addressed through his eye-lines leading to the horses' hooves.

The main eye-lines of the lead horse and the farm-worker create a triangle adding a further design element to the photograph, bringing order and structure.

2.  Analysis of own photographs

Wood carver:  ISO 3200 70mm f16 1/30
This photograph of a wood carver in Thailand is a straightforward image.  The eye-line clearly takes us tothe point of what he is doing - carving intricate patterns and sculptures in a block of wood.  The lines of his hands and the motion of his hammer provide further accent as shown by the arrows.  There is also a triangular structure created with the lines of his arm, torso and eye-line.

I was shooting indoors, so had a high ISO setting, but here I also wanted to show some movement if possible, so I used a fairly slow shutter speed.  The downside of this is that the f-stop is higher than I would have wanted, bringing a distracting background more into focus.

Group photo:  ISO 200 300mm f6.3 1/1000
This photo is all about eye-lines.  The girl at the front of the row had taken a group photo from that position.  With the exception of the lady on the right, all the eyelines lead to the camera providing , as well a small inverted triangle of two ladies and the man in the group.  This ensures that the point of interest through these implied lines is the camera.  All of this is further accentuated by the close grouping and the way the hands, arms and shoulders create further lines in the same direction.

The photograph was a candid "street" photo, so I took advantage of the structure as it happened - The aperture was one stop in from fully open - this also ensured I did not suffer from camera shake at this point. 

Black and Orange:  ISO 500  28mm  f3.5  1/60
Another straightforward image.  The Buddha's eyes leading to the orange flowers.  I liked the monochrome look here and kept my aperture wide open as I wanted the accent on the flowers, throwing the Buddha slightly out of focus.  The closeness of the wide-angle lens at this point further brought the flowers to the fore and pushed the Buddha into the background.  The main connection being established through the eye-line.

3.  Newly taken Photographs
Battle:  ISO 200 400mm f5.6  1/1600
 The photograph of the two lady re-enactors at a medieval fair at Castle Hedingham has the eye-lines leading to a point out of frame. This is also supported by their stance.

I was using the lens at its widest aperture as I was keen to throw the distracting background out of focus and also provide a fast shutter speed to freeze the action and, in this case, I also wanted to have no camera shake.

Walled garden:  ISO 200 24mm  f16  1/30
Taken at Cressing Temple, the lines initially established by the bench and the brick flower border on the right are continued into the distance to the tree growing above the wall.

The implied lines are accentuated by using the wide angle lens and, as I wanted to ensure sharpness throughout, I used f16 as my aperture, knowing that this would give me a good DOF.

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