Dynamic diagonals are action lines that can zoom the eye into the distance. The illusion of movement depends on the angle and length of the line. The line could be a road, a row of trees or stones, a row of houses or anything that seems to make a line on a diagonal. Remember in Composition #3 blog, you do this by moving yourself and the camera. (Note: if these things – the road, a row of trees etc. – are straight across the image they act as a Horizon Line that you can choose to place at 1/3, 1/2, 1/4, 2/3 or the 3/4 division of the space in an image.) FOR EXAMPLE:
Notice: The sidewalk line begins at the corner – a strong place or point to begin a diagonal. In this image it is emphasized as well by the tonal difference of dark wall and light sidewalk. The partial diagonal line at the top of the yellow house is also on a diagonal. If you mentally draw a line along the sidewalk and continue the line of the yellow house, you know they will join somewhere in the distance, outside the frame. This gives the illusion of depth. The image was taken in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico by this blogger.
MORE EXAMPLES: from istockphoto
Notice: in the Garden image there are 4 Compositional Elements used: Diagonal, High Vantage Point, 1/8 Horizon Line at the bottom edge and the Foreground of flowers at the bottom.
Diagonals are exciting because they seem to take you INTO the picture!! You have a sense of depth and distance. The most exciting angle is 45 degrees. Notice: the size of any object appears smaller if it is in the distance.
ARE YOU READY for a LITTLE CHALLENGE? Be playful!! Have fun!! Get help!!
1. On a sunny day, find some solid shadows (not leafy shadows).
2. How can you make the shadows into a diagonal? Move yourself one way or the other, higher or lower, and move the camera. Don’t concern yourself with subject matter, just look for shadows and put them on a diagonal.
3. If you have read the other Composition Tutorials – especially ‘Rule of Thirds‘ and ‘Horizontal layers‘, as well as ‘Framing‘ and ‘Foreground, then incorporate one, two or three of those compositional elements into the image – whatever you can. Again, don’t concern yourself with subject matter, just concentrate on looking for the above elements.
.4. Play around with variations of a shadow diagonal + plus the other elements, until you realize that you are looking at subject matter (in this case shadows) in a different way.
5. What happened? Any surprises? What did you learn from the experience?