Lines in Photography

This exhibition is a collection of photographs that contain the visual element of LINE. By examining these photographs and the lines within, the viewer should be able to draw certain conclusions about their emphasis and meaning.  I have also included one photograph that contrasts the others because it does not seem to have any definite lines. The introduction of photography into art was a huge accomplishment in the Western World, and one that plays an even larger part in today’s society. In photographs, we are able to pick out the distinct lines and what they emphasize in relation to the picture as a whole.  Lines provide is with a certain amount of structure and stability in a photograph, and give us somewhere to guide our eyes.

This photograph makes use of lines in a few different ways. The one that sticks out to me most is the line that cuts across the top third of the photo, made by the soldiers lined up. This creates a structure to that part of the photo, while there is less organization and more chaos lower down in the gallows and on the ground surrounding.
The lines in this photograph run perpendicular to one another, providing a kind of tension of where the viewer should guide his eye. The stronger lines are definitely running vertically, which makes us look upward toward the sky. Even the title makes this clear, because it contains "Looking Up." This is a new perspective on the bridge because we often drive over bridges without looking up so as to keep our eye on the road. However, this photograph invites us to consider a new perspective on an old image.
This photograph is bursting with all sorts of lines. Immediately the viewer may be drawn to the stark contrast of black and white lines on the woman's coat. We are also drawn directly to her face because of the lines that flow outward from it. When we look at her face, we see even more lines that are made presumably from a shadow of something else. They almost cloud the face, giving this image a very mysterious look. The first lines I touched on make us want to look toward the face, but the second ones I mentioned make it very hard to do so.
This familiar image is viewed in a whole new light because of the fact it is being assembled. We are still able to see the majority of the statue, specifically the straight line that runs through to the top of the torch. This gives the statue a lot of power and control. However, in this particular photograph, the lines of scaffolding enclose the statue so it seems somewhat trapped. Because of this, the power of the statue is diminished slightly because it is not standing entirely on its own.
This photograph shows the preconceived notion that we have of lines in general. The vertical lines on the building show that it has a strong foundation in the ground and consequently is not going to be in motion. The horizontal lines of the cars suggest motion of some sort. It is difficult to tell whether the cars were parked or moving in this photo, but either way the cars have potential for motion whereas the building does not. The different lines on the building also provide structure and texture to it, creating a more interesting appearance than if the lines were to be missing.
The lines in this photograph are very fluid. Instead of having lots of straight, sharp lines, this image has more curvature to it. Our eyes are drawn around the picture in a winding motion because of the location of the rocks. The only real straight line is the horizon, yet it does not serve as a strong line in the picture, but rather a distant element that does not take away from the fluidity of the rest of the photograph.
I included this image in the collection to display what an element of color can add to the line. When I look at this picture, I am immediately drawn to the pink strap running across this man's chest. Part of that is due to the color, but it also creates a strong line that pulls the viewer in a certain direction. Even the man's shirt is being pulled by this line. In contrast to the horizontal and vertical lines that are more faint in the photograph, the diagonal creates a strong visual center and provides a focal point for the viewer.
The building in the back of this picture serves a solid vertical line, implying the stability that I mentioned before. In contrast to this strong line, there is a more relaxed image in the front that is made up of diagonal and even curved lines. The background building is very structured and permanent due to the strong vertical line, but the boy lying on the canoe in the front implies a temporary and mobile image.
I included this image in my gallery as the counter-example because I struggled to find definite lines in it. There are a few lines that could be traced, as in any image. But the circular umbrella tops and the flowing clothing provide a more fluid motion that does not have clear lines. When a photograph lacks major horizontal or vertical lines, we are moved around the picture looking for a focal point, which sometimes never makes itself very clear, as in this picture.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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