Exercise 1.3: Line

27th January 2021

Take a number of shots using lines to create a sense of depth.

OCA EYV (2014:24)

Leading lines and vanishing points are used to guide the viewer’s eye to a subject or an area within the frame. The perspective that they form give the sense of depth and three-dimension.

It’s All About the Lines

Now take a number of shots using lines to flatten the pictorial space.

OCA:EYV (2014:24)

In ‘Exercise 1.3: Line part 1’ the lines that we were shooting within our compositions were used to lead the viewers eye into a specific point of interest. In contrast the lines within this exercise are used to lead the viewers eye out of the picture frame.

Both the use of leading lines and abstract lines are important in their own way because both serve very different compositional needs; leading lines are functional and abstract lines are aesthetic.

Further Research

In the OCA folder the photographer Eugène Etget is mentioned and an accompanying photograph of his is given as an example of using lines to create depth. I have researched Atget further.

Eugene Atget

Eugene Atget. Coin de quai Voltaire at rue de Nevres, 1926

When you discover the vertical line everything else is just framing.

OCA EYV (2014:24)

Eugène Atget documented in great depth the architecture and street scenes of Paris. His Paris works include images on subjects such as architecture, street life and shop fronts.

When studying his work I was fascinated by the vast amount of images he captured, the detail within them and the visual history that we now have of Paris past. Many of the images that he has captured remind me of the streets of today in the pandemic world we live in, quite apocalyptic visually due to the absence of people. The empty street scenes were taken very early in the day ‘… both to benefit from the transparent light of morning and to avoid traffic.’ (Gautrand, 2020:19)

Atget’s images show strong compositions with leading lines and focus points which are made even more dynamic by the buildings natural construction lines produced by the brick patterns and window frame lines.

…Gates, fountains, and sculptures were reproduced frontally, as would be shop displays and windows, peddlers and other modest traders, even brothels. Trees, flowers and frontages interested him just as much as bourgeois interiors and the slums of the rag-and-bone men.

Gautrand, 2020:20

Further research and review of the book, Eugène Atget PARIS, can be found on the blog post, ‘Eugène Atget …Discover the Vertical Line’. ‘https://dawntomlincreativeartist.wordpress.com/2021/01/31/eugene-atget-discover-the-vertical-line/

Fig. 3 Brandt, B. (1951) Nude, Belgravia, London


See text on images



Gautrand, C J. (2020:19-20) Eugène Atget Paris. Taschen


Tine Ivanič, unsplash.com https://unsplash.com/s/photos/spiral-staircase (accessed 28th January 2021)

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