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This chapter is from the book

Chapter 4 Assignments

Before moving on to Chapter 5, take some time to complete the following assignments to gain a better grasp of lines, shape, and form and the role they play in composition.

Lines

Using lines to lead to your subject, work a scene by shooting straight on with the lines moving horizontally through the image to see how a horizontal line can divide the frame and create a barrier between the viewer and the subject. Using the same subject, change position so that the line is moving in a diagonal direction towards the subject. For the final shot, shoot straight down a line towards your subject to see the dramatic impact that shooting directly towards the subject has on your images. Notice how changing your camera angle dramatically alters the effect of lines and their effect on the final composition.

Curves

Go out and look for curves that lead your eye to your subject. Find a classic S-curve and use it to lead the viewer's eye to your subject. Note the softer approach of using curves as leading lines as opposed to the preceding assignment using straight lines.

Vertical or Horizontal

The next time you are composing a scene, stop and ask yourself why you are composing it the way you are. Once you have captured the image in the orientation you first decided on, turn the camera to the opposite orientation (if you began with a horizontal position, turn the camera to a vertical position) and shoot the same scene. Compare the two images to see what qualities you like about each composition. You may be surprised that many scenes look as good or better when you turn the camera from one orientation to the other.

Share your results with the book's Flickr group!

Join the group here: flickr.com/groups/composition_fromsnapshotstogreatshots

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