Photography forum: The Basics of Good Composition---Movement on the Diagonal

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Name: Sheila Caldon
Aiken, SC (Zone 8a)
Dragonflies Butterflies Birds Dog Lover Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader
Amaryllis Lilies Daylilies Pollen collector Seed Starter Clematis
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SheilaC
Feb 11, 2015 9:12 PM CST
Hi Everyone!

I've finally got caught up in my "other" life---my life outside of gardening---and want to talk about some other important elements of composition.

Since the subject matter of any photograph is usually personal, and in our case, usually related to some sort of plant or another, it's not always as important, then, as the way in which we frame the subject and compose the elements that are a part of any photograph. We've discussed some of those already but there's even more to think about!

Our next consideration will be on the technique of presenting your subject "on the diagonal." Once you see the examples I think you'll agree it's a very pleasing element of the compositions. You would think there's only one way to accomplish this technique---by filling your frame with the subject going from one corner to another and for the most part you'd be right. That is the most obvious choice, but, there's also different elements that will sometimes come into play which can produce a similar effect. One is the way in which forward motion moves the eye through the photo. You could have something "within" the main subject that is pointing your eye to one corner or another and in the process of doing that it creates the illusion of moving your eye on the diagonal lines through the photo. So, it doesn't always have to be overtly obvious in the presentation, but can just as well be more subtle. One other consideration would be elements of the main subject that create that diagonal movement without starting in any corner at all. You'll see what I mean in some of the photos below.

Let's look at a few examples of how pleasing it is to view a photograph using the diagonal technique.

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Corina Selberg--public domain--Pixabay

That is a beautiful example of framing the subject using the diagonal technique. She's also chosen to present it by isolating just the color of the tulip. Just a beautiful photo!

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Another by Corina Selberg--public domain--Pixabay

The isolation, again, of the single tulip is very dramatic while she's framed it on the diagonal.

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I don't have the name of the photographer for this one, but it was in creative commons.

You may notice more than one line for your eye to follow in the one above. We have the dark line going from the bottom left towards the top right corner and then we have the tops of the seeds when followed from one to the next that have a diagonal line of sorts too. Notice it's not initiated from a corner but still gives the illusion of movement on the diagonal. It balances out and renders the photo pleasing even if you've noticed that the main point of interest is pretty well right in the middle. Centering your main subject isn't always taboo and sometimes you have no choice. It's perfectly acceptable to center your image especially when you have supporting elements that will divert the eye from the predictability of it. I'll give you supporting examples of what I'm talking about in a bit.

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Josch 13--Pixabay

Notice the beautiful placement of the bloom. He's got the lower left corner filled with most of the body of the bloom while the diagonal lines move from lower right corner to upper left corner. The flowing lines are very beautiful and look great against the blacked out background with a slight reflection underneath. Very well done.

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No photographer given---creative commons

Rather than photograph what looks to me to be performers or players of some sort, head on here, he/she has chosen to take the lineup from corner to corner.

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Another with no name---creative commons

The monochromatic colors are rendered more interesting by having the needles cascade down in a diagonal direction.

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No credit given---creative commons

A beautiful example of having the bloom fill one corner and leave the rest in negative space.

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cocoparisienne--Pixabay

The one above is not overtly obvious but has the lines in different elements of it.

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By corinaselberg---Pixabay

The photo above is a beautiful play on the diagonal that gives the illusion of the blooms unfolding from top to bottom !


Well, those are all wonderful examples of the dramatic effect that framing your photos on the diagonal can make in the quality of the presentation of your composition!

Sometimes we can crop our photo in such a way as to accentuate the diagonal. Other times we can just tilt our cameras a bit and achieve that technique. Grab your cameras and go out and see what you can create by deliberately framing your shot on the diagonal!

Thanks for tuning in!



Beauty pleases, not only the eyes, but, the heart as well. Sheila
[Last edited by SheilaC - Feb 13, 2015 8:00 PM (+)]
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Name: Sheila Caldon
Aiken, SC (Zone 8a)
Dragonflies Butterflies Birds Dog Lover Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader
Amaryllis Lilies Daylilies Pollen collector Seed Starter Clematis
Image
SheilaC
Feb 11, 2015 10:00 PM CST
I thought I'd post a couple of my close up photos along the same lines.


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Clematis---lost the tag, but, may be Davidii---(I'm editing this because I was thinking of a phlox I have that I was looking up which I suspect "is" Davidii---I honestly don't know what the dark purple Clematis is...) Smiling

Thumb of 2015-02-12/SheilaC/4105a5
Gift Asiatic Lily from my mother-in-law

Beauty pleases, not only the eyes, but, the heart as well. Sheila
[Last edited by SheilaC - Feb 13, 2015 7:46 PM (+)]
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Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level
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evermorelawnless
Feb 13, 2015 4:31 PM CST
Sheila, that was well done and you chose fantastic examples. Thanks!!
I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins
Name: Sheila Caldon
Aiken, SC (Zone 8a)
Dragonflies Butterflies Birds Dog Lover Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader
Amaryllis Lilies Daylilies Pollen collector Seed Starter Clematis
Image
SheilaC
Feb 13, 2015 7:55 PM CST
Thank you for your encouraging words! :)
Beauty pleases, not only the eyes, but, the heart as well. Sheila
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Aug 2, 2015 5:46 PM CST
Very good info!! Hurray!
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
Image
Catmint20906
Aug 2, 2015 6:12 PM CST
these are great threads--very informative! hope we will get to see some more of them!! (pretty please?) Big Grin
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso

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