Knowing how to incorporate the elements of visual design into our imagery is probably the best way to take your photos “up a notch”. It’s what I’ve been doing for the past forty-two years, and have done very well by it.
Where I learned to use these elements was not studying photography, but the years in school surrounding myself with courses in painting, design, composition, and drawing. When I crossed over to photography at the ripe old age of 21, I carried all my training into this new medium that I absolutely fell head over heels in love with, especially since it was the answer I had been looking for. I thought why spend days, or a week, or even a month painting a picture when a photograph taken by my new camera provided me with instant gratification. I still considered myself an artist, as I do now. I’ve just changed out my pencils and paintbrushes for a Canon 5D Mark II.
In my online class with the PPSOP, and with my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshop I conduct around the planet, One of the elements my students use from their new Digital Artist Palette is called a Vanishing Point. Briefly stated, a Vanishing Point is the point where parallel lines viewed in perspective appear to converge at or near the horizon.
Leading lines are those Lines that lead the viewer around your composition, making him/her an active participant in your photography…a very good thing!!!
Here are two photos taken by students of mine that were able to create not only a Vanishing Point and Leading Lines, but several other elements from their new Digital Artist Palette as well.
Yvonne, a student of mine from Utah took this wonderful photograph that uses Leading Lines to take the viewer’s eyes down the wall to the payoff at the end…the Palm tree. The parallel lines are those lines that are at the top and bottom of the wall. They are very close to being a Vanishing Point, but the lines don’t begin behind the camera.
Karen, another student of mine that was part of my workshop at the Houston Center for Photography was with me at the Polo Grounds one sunrise when she saw this great example of a Vanishing Point and incorporated it into her final composition. As usual, all my students learn exactly where the sun is going to rise and set any day of the year, so Karen knew a week before exactly where the light would fall, when it would be there, and how long she had before the light was gone.
Really nice photographs!
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com and come shoot with me sometime. I’ll show you how to use both a Vanishing Point and Leading lines to take your imagery “Up a notch”.