Exercise Diagonals.


This exercise was a lot more challenging than I had originally thought. A diagonal after all is just a line at a different angle, in some cases. But capturing this in camera proved to be slightly difficult. For one the line always seemed to look straight.

I searched for many examples from a flight of steps, railings and bridges, but eventually decided on these images. I decided not to simply rely on something diagonal and make that the main image, but also to see how it could change and create a photo.

Reference Reading

The Photographers Eye: Michael Freeman.

The Complete Guide to Photographic Composition. Tony Worobiec.


A wet and ethereal day in the Lake District didn’t seem like the best place for images, the views were under a veil of mist, rain sleeted down but I spotted this house as we hovered in the rain. The diagonal lines of the telephone wires lead straight to this house, the dark colours of the building add to the film noir feel to the overall image. Just like with lines, I like how the diagonals can be used to draw attention to specific parts of the image. The fulcrum, the telegraph pole blends into the colours of the house but it mimics the lines of the balconies.


The rocky seascape of Scotland always proves to be a great photographic opportunity as it was at the time this photo was taken. I sat on the rocks and used the diagonal line of the rock to lead straight to the focal point, the man standing gazing out to see. By using the rock as a diagonal the image is split into two interesting parts, one of nature and the rockpool and in contrast, the man. It is almost like the battle between nature and man. I like the dark and gritty colours of the image, the yellow lichen complements the grasses in the background. Also the clothing of the man fits in well with the areas of shadow and dark contrast on the rocks.


The railings on the beach shot diagonally across the landscape. By standing on some steps, I was able to position myself so as to shoot directly across the beach, including most of the fence and the long diagonal line it creates which is reiterated by the tracks on the sand. As there isn’t a focal point the railing itself takes control of the image.


Following the example as with the scene in Scotland, I used this fence to split the photo in half. Each side has an action going on, the birds flocking for food and on the other the people feeding the birds and the gathering of pigeons. I deliberately cropped out the peoples heads so as to preserve their identity. I enjoyed this exercise though found it harder. And in retrospect I feel I should have taken a photo of an actual diagonal and made that the photo. Though I am pleased with the photos I achieved.


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