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The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographs by David duChemin

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Lesson 21. Lines: Use Diagonals to Create Energy

Really all we have in a photograph are lines and shapes to re-create what we see out there in the world. They’re created by shadows and reflections, trees, buildings, the woman in our photograph, and the smile on her face—all of them made into two dimensions, formed by light, represented by lines that, in turn, create shape. There is no woman in the photograph itself, only lines to represent her, and so it’s the lines we choose and manipulate within the frame that give us the control over what that woman looks like. And it’s the moment we choose. And the lens we use. It is the photographer who puts the lines on the print, and it’s on the photographer that responsibility falls when it fails to move ...

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