Lines, Lines, Lines - How to Use Lines in Improving Your Photography

lines - implied
lines - implied
lines - literally
lines - literally

Do you want to improve your photography? If you do, then come and join me and discover a technique I learned (and am still learning) as I go through my adventures in photography.


Lines in Photography

Lines come in many forms – vertical, horizontal, diagonal, wavy, curved, curled, spiral, twisted, broken, converging, radiating. Think of a descriptive term about lines and you most likely will find one such line.

Artists have long known about the power of lines in their art. This can be literal or implied. So, to improve composition in your photography, one of the basic tips is to use lines.

Vertical and Horizontal Lines

Using lines in photography can add impact or a new dimension to your photographs.

Vertical lines make your eyes move up and down in a picture. The lines can enhance the feeling of depth, magnificence or dominance.

Horizontal lines on the other hand make your eyes go left to right or right to left. Horizontal lines create a sense of serenity, calmness and timelessness

Diagonal lines

Diagonal lines increase dynamism in a picture.

Just imagine if this line was just horizontal, it will not be as dynamic as how this photo appears
Just imagine if this line was just horizontal, it will not be as dynamic as how this photo appears
Compare the horizontal lines in this photo with the diagonal lines in the next photo
Compare the horizontal lines in this photo with the diagonal lines in the next photo
Isn't this photo more dynamic than the photo above?
Isn't this photo more dynamic than the photo above?

Curved, Curled, Wavy Lines

Use curved, curled or wavy lines to create softness and sensuality.

Radiating Lines

Radiating lines create a feeling of openness, happiness. When I see radiating lines as in the following photos, I can't help but smile.

Converging lines, Vanishing Point

One of the most dynamic effects that you can produce in your photos is to look for the vanishing point created by converging lines. If you also use blur at the same time, then this results in the feeling of being sucked into a vortex. This is shown in the following pictures.

Vanishing point
Vanishing point
blurred converging lines
blurred converging lines

S-curve

Using an S-curve creates not only a pleasant but also a dynamic photo. This is shown in the photos below.

Lines are Made to be Broken

I love working with lines but sometimes they, especially straight lines, can be monotonous if there is no other element in the picture. So it, is usually a good idea to break the lines somewhere along the way and add an element of interest or surprise to break the monotony.

If you remember the photos above, I used a glass to break the monotony of the horizontal and diagonal lines. In the photo of horizontal lines, I also captured a bird to break the static effect of the lines.

The next two photos show more "broken lines" and the element of surprise.

A man in black standing beside the columns breaks the white lines
A man in black standing beside the columns breaks the white lines
A flower beside the columns breaks the lines
A flower beside the columns breaks the lines

Tutorials About Lines

It is fun to play with lines in your photos. It is an on-going lesson for me to discover which lines work best in a picture.

If you want to know more about lines in photography, below are some tutorials that have helped me discover the powerful effects of lines. Have fun!

http://digital-photography-school.com/working-the-lines-in-your-photography


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Comments 56 comments

jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Everyone,

I will be out for a few days. So if I don't answer your comments right away, please understand. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this hub.

All the best!

God bless!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

My own method is to take as manypictures as possible in the hope of a few coming out really well :D


suny51 profile image

suny51 6 years ago

This is as good as they come from you,another one I shall note points from.Thanks professor.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

You are extremely skilled as a photographer and have so much to share. I am more a hobbyist with a camera, but I will occasionally have a moment or two. As an artist, I sometimes find it easier to make up the composition I'm looking for than to find it in nature, but you seem to do it with ease. You definitely have the photographer's eye! I enjoy seeing your work, it is so inspiring. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Mike


samsons1 profile image

samsons1 6 years ago from Tennessee

wonderful application, thanks so much for the refresher course and your dynamic hub... always great to learn from a master--

blessings to you my friend-


FCEtier profile image

FCEtier 6 years ago from Cold Mountain

Kudos from a fellow photographer!


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

jill - first I hope that where ever you are you are enjoying as much as I enjoyed this Hub. As always you teach me something and you do it in a most beautiful way. Rated upwards, useful and awesome!


coffeesnob 6 years ago

Baby,

I agree with Mike, you are skilled and very proficient at what you do. Your photos seem to breathe.

hope your time away is refreshing

CS


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago

Totally awesome--love all your pictures. It's amazing how lines exist everywhere, if we take the time to appreciate and look for them. I'm going to steal the picture of the pink daisy! Enjoy your break. Rated awesome!


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 6 years ago from san diego calif

Hi Jill ! Have I told you that you are an awesome photographer lately ? Well you are !


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

The photo, that produced your example of blurred converging...is awesome! When I saw this photo, I thought; these people look as if they are caught, in a time warp, bridging the gap, from where they've been, to where they are going:)

Love your illustrations, and the definitions of the lines used in photography. Adding additional subject matter to your photo, not only broke up the line, but made your photograph, even more interesting:)


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I do LOVE your photos Jill and this hub has a clever 'slant'! As a former art student I remember many of the artistic comments on lines you so beautifully conveyed. Thanks for this awesome demonstration of color, composition and talent.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Everyone,

I just got back from my trip. I really missed all of you. I'll be coming up with another hub about this trip as soon as I get my photos organized. So happy to be back.

Thank you for all your comments while I was away!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello De Greek,

Thank you for being the first here. Sorry if I took so long to answer. As I said I was going away for a trip.

By the way, I also do that - take as many pictures and hope to find a gem among them. However, I have become more conscious now of where the lines are and always get as many different angles and views as I can.

Hope to see you again!

God bless!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Suny,

Nice to see you again!

I'm happy if you learned something from this hub.

Thanks for your wonderful comment!

All the best!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Mike,

It's great to see you again!

Thank you very much for your kind words. Coming from an artist, that's a real compliment. I too am just a hobbyist photographer. So that makes two of us.

God bless!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Samsons1,

Great to see you again!

I am happy if this became a refresher for you. You are the master, not me. I am just a newbie in photography.

Thank you very much for your heartwarming comment.

God bless you, my friend!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi FCEtier,

Thank you very much! I really appreciate that especially as it comes from a great photographer like you!

God bless!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello wavegirl,

Wow! You are so nice for rating up this hub! Your words are what I call a grand welcome for me. You have made me so happy with your comment. Thank you very much!

God bless!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

My dear coffeesnob,

You always say the nicest things! Thank you very much dear friend for always appreciating what I do. You have made me very happy.

God bless you, my friend!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi anglnwu,

I always look forward to your visits because you always make me happy with your comments.

You know that I have given you permission to use any of my photos, so go ahead and "steal". It's an honor for me.

Thank you very much for the "awesome" rate. Really appreciate it.

God bless!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Tony my friend,

You haven't lately, no. So thank you for reminding me. Hahaha!

Seriously, I really appreciate your kind words!

Thank you very much dear friend!

God bless!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Heart4theword,

It's great to see you again!

Thank you very much for your appreciation of my work. Your words really warmed my heart! You just know the perfect words to make anybody happy.

God bless!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Green Lotus,

You are always so supportive of my efforts. Thank you very much my friend!

You just made my heart sing with your wonderful comment! I really appreciate it especially as it comes from an artist like you!

God bless!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

Oh, those lines! Well, in the hands of a great artist like you, even lines become artistic. Love the pictures!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Shalini,

What can I say but thank you very much! You always have a way of saying things that make me believe I am getting there as an artist. You really inspire me.

God bless you my friend!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

I cannot believe that you have any doubts that you are already an artist. What you do with your camera and the pictures is artistry in motion! These images were not only beautiful but served as perfect examples of what you were illustrating with your words. Great job as usual.


DenverPhotography profile image

DenverPhotography 6 years ago from Denver, Colorado

Amazing collection of pictures with great lines! And what is even more impressive to me is that they are YOUR pictures! This is a great reference and thanks for sharing.


SilverGenes 6 years ago

You have some stunning images here. Good hub!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Peggy,

Your words are music to my ears. You make me believe in myself. Thank you very much! Thank you for the inspiration.

God bless you my friend!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi DenverPhotography,

You make me happy with your comment especially since you are an accomplished photographer. Thank you very much!

You are most welcome. My pleasure really!

All the best!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello SilverGenes,

Thank you very much. Your comment is most appreciated especially since you are a pro photographer.

God bless!


Robert Hughes profile image

Robert Hughes 6 years ago

Really nice photographs!!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Robert,

Thank you very much!

Happy to meet you!


Mezo profile image

Mezo 6 years ago from Egypt

That was informative, im gonna do this in my shots :)

congrats for the feature


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Mezo,

That's great! Yes, you should try it. You will be surprised at how much better your photos will be just by being aware of lines.

What feature? I don't know that. Still, thank you very much.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Jill of alltrades; if all of my univiersity professors, taught as brilliantly as you teach with such artistic flair, I would have paid better attention and probably gotten Honours, instead of "B+'s. You are an inspiration.

Brother Dave.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Brother Dave,

What a wonderful thing to say! I am so touched and honored!

Thank you very much for your visit and wonderful comment. I really appreciate it!

God bless!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

jill - I just got a new camera and wanted to think of ways to improve my photographs. Thanks for the tips. Your pictures are beautiful!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Dolores,

That's great! Now you have a new toy to play with.

I am happy if this hub gave you some new ideas to play with. You are most welcome. It's my pleasure really!

Thank you very much for always giving me inspiration with you kind words.

God bless!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

What valuable tips! You're such an accomplished photographer, I'm ready to take any you give! Thank you! And you write about it so well!!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Nellieanna,

I am honored by your visit and comment.If a great artist like you learns from me then I have arrived. Thank you most kindly!

Your words are really music to my ears.

God bless you!


2uesday profile image

2uesday 6 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday.

The ideas in this hub are very useful and the photos are fantastic. I have learnt something new and enjoyed viewing your excellent photos. Thank You.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello 2uesday,

Your words are music to my ears! Thank you very very much!

I am happy if you learned something here. The pleasure is all mine!

See you around!

God bless!


Sandyksk profile image

Sandyksk 5 years ago from Sanger

I'm so enjoying your hubs! Another 'useful' hub, voted up! Thanks! :))


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Sandy,

It's so nice to see you again!

Thank you very much for appreciating my work.

Thanks too for the vote up and useful!

God bless!


travel-O-grapher profile image

travel-O-grapher 4 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

Nice article! One really has to train one's eye to look for the lines in the ordinary things! I like the way you have captured the different lines in different environments! thanks


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello travel-O-grapher,

Thanks so much for your wonderful comment! It's true, it took me a while to see those lines when I was just new in photography.

God bless!


glorgeousmom profile image

glorgeousmom 4 years ago from Philippines

Thank you so much jill for this very valuable information. It is very interesting to know that you have an in-depth knowledge in photography which are very helpful and useful to amateurs like me. I'm pretty sure I will be coming back to dig in more to your articles on photography as I continue to explore and try to learn more in my photography adventure. :))


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello glorgeousmom,

It's nice to see you again!

I'm happy that you learned something here. I have other photography hubs that I hope you will also enjoy and learn from.

Thanks very much for your inspiring comment!

God bless!


glorgeousmom profile image

glorgeousmom 4 years ago from Philippines

Hi jill of alltrades,

I'm starting to dig-in to your other photography articles. Your articles are a good source of inspiration for a newbie like me because I can see that your hubs are a living testimony that really "you walk the talk".


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello glorgeousmom,

I am so happy that you are enjoying my hubs. Thank you! I just love sharing what I know and enjoy. I still consider myself as a newbie in photography also. I still have so much to learn and I am enjoying every minute of my adventure. Just keep on shooting!

God bless!


Learn Things Web profile image

Learn Things Web 4 years ago from California

This is a great hub! The photos are amazing. I love the pictures you compared. I'm trying to get a little more creative in how I take pictures.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 4 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello Learn Things Web,

I'm happy that you learned something here and that you love the photos. I really love sharing things that make me happy. So the pleasure is mine if people appreciate what I do. Thank you very much!

See you around!

God bless!


tiffany delite profile image

tiffany delite 3 years ago from united states

thank you so much for this hub...as a novice photographer, i am soaking up all the info i can in an effort to become a better photographer. this is a very helpful and interesting hub. thanks again...blessings!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 3 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi tiffany,

I'm happy that you found this hub helpful and interesting. I enjoy sharing what I know and love doing, so the pleasure is all mine!!! You are most welcome!!! Hope to see some of your photos soon!

Keep on shooting!

God bless!

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