7. Lines as Elements of Composition


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Lines, in Their Many Shapes and Forms, Make Great Compositional Design Elements

“I like form and shape and strength in pictures.”

—Herb Ritts

Photographs broken down into their most basic elements are really a bunch of lines arranged, distorted, curved, and manipulated to create shapes and forms, which become the elements that make up our photographs. Our job as photographers is to make visual sense of all these lines as they come into and out of the frame, intersecting here, moving in opposite directions there, and so on.

Poring Over the Picture

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