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Food For Digital Thought: Creating Depth by the Manipulation of Line

I placed the silver panels to manipulate Line...creating depth.

I placed the silver panels to manipulate Line…creating depth.

In my four week online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet, work on incorporating the Elements of Visual Design into their imagery.

We also work on several other elements that help to create stronger compositions, and one of the is perspective. In this concept, we are usually referring to the spatial relationships between objects in a photo. However, in one of my one week lessons in the four week class are ways to create depth.

One of the ways is to anchor the subject in the foreground thus giving the illusion of space and distance. Since the camera has one eye, it can only see in two dimensions…height and width. We can trick the camera and suggest the third dimension, depth.

Another way to create the feeling of depth is the manipulation of line. By arranging lines in your composition in such a way, you can move the viewer around the frame. The best way to create the feeling of space and distance is to move the viewer from the bottom of the frame to the top. Since we were brought up to read from left to right, having him start out from the bottom left and move him across the frame to somewhere in the top right keeps him in his comfort zone. That said, sometimes it’s a good idea to take him out of his comfort zone and move him from right to left….creating more visual tension.

A Vanishing Point is one of the best ways to manipulate line and lead the viewer around the frame. These are lines that are parallel to the lens axis, begin behind the camera, and converge at a point somewhere in the composition. To create a classic Vanishing Point. these parallel lines would converge at infinity or at a point on the horizon.

Here’s some examples of creating depth by the manipulation of Line:

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and be sure to check out  my workshop schedule. In conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be leading a group to Cuba for the third time next March. Come join me in what I’ll guarantee you to be an amazing experience, and you’ll return home with memorable photos from a wonderful country.

Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.



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