On the straight and nar­row

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills Camera Techniques -

1 Walk the line

Stroll around any lo­ca­tion and you’ll find plenty of lines to work with. For land­scapes, the ideal line leads the eye from the fore­ground to a dis­tant sub­ject (a path or wall will do this), but in­ter­preted more loosely, ‘lead­ing lines’ could mean any line that draws the eye into the frame.

2 Into a cor­ner

Try fram­ing lines so they spring from one of the cor­ners, lead­ing the eye to­wards back­ground de­tails. A widean­gle lens can help to ex­ag­ger­ate the per­spec­tive so that the line con­verges to­wards a dis­tant point. We’ve used a 16-35mm lens on a D800 here.

3 On the road

Paths are a clas­sic com­po­si­tional de­vice for draw­ing the eye. You can ei­ther po­si­tion the path so that it comes into the frame from the side, or shoot from the cen­tre for sym­met­ri­cal lines that lead in­wards. If you opt for the lat­ter, make sure your cam­era is placed dead cen­tre.

4 Line draw­ing

If there aren’t any lines to hand, why not make your own? You could do it by po­si­tion­ing a piece of drift­wood, shift­ing a few stones, or mark­ing a line in the sand. Here the tracks of a beach buggy strengthen the com­po­si­tion and help to draw the eye to­wards the pier.

5 Point to a per­son

Of­ten you’ll see a strong line, but find it doesn’t lead any­where in­ter­est­ing. Try in­clud­ing a per­son in the frame, po­si­tioned at the per­fect point where the lines con­verge. You could ei­ther di­rect some­one into place, or set up the shot and wait for a con­ve­nient passer-by.

6 Sea changes

As well as solid lines, there are also lines that will ap­pear and dis­ap­pear through­out the day. When the tide came in here, the trails of wa­ter cre­ated their own lines and pat­terns. Fleet­ing lines can ap­pear in cloud for­ma­tions and shad­ows too, es­pe­cially when the sun is low.

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