Step 5 – Lines
Lines within an image are one of the most effective ways to enhance the drama through your shot. Horizontal and vertical lines add particularly strong structure to images; where as curved lines give a more relaxed feel. Consider where each line within the images starts and leads to. It can often be very effective to have a line that leads the eye into the shot, for example, working it’s way from a bottom corner, through the image and off into the opposite back corner of the shot. Pathways, rivers, railway lines and roads will all lend themselves to this in the right situation.
When working with horizontal and vertical lines within your shots, which you undoubtedly will, please make sure that the shot is straight. You won’t believe how many shots I’ve seen that have been ruined by a slightly tilted line. Of course it is possible using post processing to correct these mistakes, but it’s far better to get into the good practice of ensuring that your shots are correctly aligned as you shoot.
Step 6 – Shapes
Once you’ve understood the role in which line has to play within the composition of your image, you’ll be able to begin to appreciate the influence of shape as well. Try to detach yourself from looking through your viewfinder at subject matter and consider the shapes of each of the elements in the frame. It’s important to understand how the shapes interact with one another. Strong shapes such as triangles and squares will be much easier to frame than softer circular shapes, but by appreciating how each element is formed, you’ll be able to powerfully portray the shapes and their correlation as subject matter.