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Photographing Curves

Updated on September 16, 2014
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) | Source
CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

Conducting a photographic project focusing exclusively on curves, I must admit was one of the simplest yet most intriguing photographic projects that I have ever undertaken.

I must also admit that I almost got into trouble on a couple of occasions,while doing this project and mainly for not following my own advice of being upfront and asking permission. Is not fun having to explain to an irate lady why you were taking her photograph and why you were aiming where you where. However after some explaining and a promise of copies everything was at peace again.

Curves are found almost anywhere; in nature, on structures, on animals and on people. Your objective should be to record images of nothing but curves whether single curves or repetitive curved patterns. the theme is the same.

The major obstacle that one will face in performing this technique is to capture appropriate subjects which are also pleasing compositions. In nature look for images that have curves which appear to be apart from the main subject, possibly not even belonging there.

Tree branches that face away from the trunk, curves in the exoskeleton shaped dome of insects such as those found in beetles, round fruits like tomatoes, mounds of earth, curved flower surfaces, a curvature found in a river or stream as it snakes through the land, the slight bend on leaves and grasses, hill tops and even the moon or a rainbow. Try new angles and get some close ups that isolate the edges of the bend to really emphasize the curvatures.

People are full of curves, but in reality women make the best subjects. With permission or unless using the services of a volunteer or model, capture images of curves around the waist, hips, buttocks, chest, even the chin, knees and hands. Again the best samples will probably be those done in a close up mode. Also avoid photographing sensitive personal areas, otherwise your photography project may turn into something else.

Architectural subjects such as round tables, street corners, stairs, staircases, flower planters, lamps, and some ceilings are plentiful, so photographing them should not be an issue. Man made objects are also full of curves such as car tires, the curvatures of some cars, balls, caps, the heels of shoes, bowls, spoons, and some tools.

Fine wine cups and glasses make excellent subjects, even better if they are colored. Focus on the portions where the glass becomes curved and take a close up, even a macro if possible. You can even make artificial curves. Choose a colorful paint and draw some curves on a piece of textured paper and you have instant curves. Use a fish eye lens, its natural curvature adds curves through distortion, to an otherwise flat surface.

Use shadows that form curved patterns, they are easily done and can offer very interesting shapes. Sand dunes and rock surfaces also lend themselves well, especially if light is used to accentuate the curves. Bodies of water can be exploited for curved sample such as the gentle ripples on the surface of a calm lake.

Birds that have very long necks usually pose while at rest with the necks bent like a backwards "S", if you come upon any of the specimens make sure to record some images. Turtles and tortoises also have a curved shell take some of their photos too.

Taking close ups is the main objective of this project. If you record the subject in its entirety then you run the risk of creating distracting compositional elements. By doing close ups you guide the audience to the curvature elements, thus the objective.

A good presentation format is to showcase the images within one frame. This can be done digitally or the old fashioned way by printing the photographs and adhering them to a large glass enclosed picture frame. Go one step further and display the images alongside images of straight lines for a contrasting composition.

The more colorful the subjects the better in capturing an audience's attention and keeping it and the better the effect.

Something else that should always be taken into consideration is that since there is hardly a photographic theme or subject left that has not been covered already in one way or another, infuse your photos with your personalized touch and this maybe what gives you that much need professional edge.

No specialized equipment other than a camera is really needed to carry out this photographic project, but if you want to completely exploit this theme, procure the aid of a microscope and record images of microscopic elements and any naturally forming curves found within them.

CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source
CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      randomcreative: thank you

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I thought that, too. Great topic with so many different possibilities!

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Cardisa: Now, do you really think I would not include some feminine charm? known me too well.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      I thought you would have some feminine curves there Luis. Very interesting hub with beautiful photos.