2015 – Project 52 / 52Frames / A Picture a Week Challenge
Week 03 – Leading Lines
I never quite pay attention to all the ‘lines’ in my compositions… well not in detail. However, I realised this week that I do use them in my compositions, subconsciously. The way I process also holds to this as I would ensure my horizons are proper and I’ll crop based on lines in my composition.
Needless to say, this week wasn’t exactly a had one for me to use lines but to actually think of a theme was difficult as I wanted to really challenge myself. However, before I get into that, here’s the selected image for this week. This was taken on Makarsankranti, also known as Pongal. It is known as the harvest festival here and the locals (Indians) like to raise kites as part of the celebrations. I would also like to say that the kite in the last picture in the gallery for the week is the one I raised (with minimal wind) *feeling proud*.
Now… I’ll explain the three strongest conceptual ideas for this week as they concern “leading lines”.
Theme One – Sunset/Twilight: Some of the international students and I took a walk on one of the many nature trails on campus. This resulted in a wonderful afternoon of seeing lovely scenes and simply relaxing and connecting with mother nature, with smatterings of human made devices in the mix. Close to sunset, we were climbing some rocks (nothing too dangerous) when the monk showed me the beautiful scene of the setting sun being framed by the rocks. So, I tried to get as low as possible and use all of the ‘lines’ to help with the final shot. I don’t think I did a bad job at all! Then, as we exited the trail and started the climb uphill to our hostel, I saw the beautiful afternoon light being chased by a lovely night – twilight in all its glory. The way the trees, power lines, lights and even the road with sidewalk and divider framed the last bit of day light was simply lovey. Even the oncoming night seem to add to the final scene. Neither of these shots were planned before hand but the compositions, etc., were done on the spot. I was thinking of sunset shots but the surroundings made them happen when I least expected. In these instances, the lines were not the focus but how they helped with the overall composition in framing the subjects was the best part for me. I really liked both images but I felt they were missing something. Side note: I wish I had them both for week 2 – silhouettes *sighs*.
Theme Two – Guitar Strings: As I was walking through my hostel one night I heard one of the guys playing his guitar and immediately thought of the musical instrument and the lines there. Upon request he agreed to being my ‘model’ and this resulted in a night of fun, music and interesting compositions around the hostel. In this instance, the lines were the subjects of the compositions. However, as I started to shoot and move around to different locations some other elements came into the equation – like the rails and stairs. I think overall, this shoot went well as I learned a lot and upon processing I saw mistakes I’ll correct in the future. However, yet again, something was missing in my opinion.
Theme Three – kites and Pongal: I knew we would be seeing kites for Pongal and the possibilities of all the leading lines – the twine used to secure the kites, the hands holding the twine, eyes looking towards the kites – had me excited. I liked the possibility of action themed with the fun of kite flying. From the first photograph to the last one on this afternoon I knew I’d be using one of them for sure. I think I had some good ones but finally settled on that particular shot because of the blatant and subtle leading lines present; even though lines are prominent, the subjects were not the lines, they simply helped to drag the eyes in, but the kites and the people trying to raise them were the main elements.
All in all, it was good to refresh my mind on leading lines and remind me how important they are in compositions! Also, it’s good to note that all leading lines are not necessarily ‘physical’ in nature or even ‘straight’…
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