Diagonal Composition Part 1
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Diagonal Composition Part 1

September 12, 2019


diagonal lines in an image be they real
or imaginary can add excitement to a picture that
would otherwise be quite dull in a straightforward up and down side to side sort of a view of the world
this fence post that i’m leaning against right now are beautifully backlit, if you go in tight on this diagonal that’s running up across here you can get quite a nice image because
it’s a diagonal it’s going to be running from the top left hand corner of your screen
here all the way down to the bottom right this is what I call
it naturally occurring diagonal because it’s natural, it’s real, it’s here, it’s happening but you can also make diagonals by moving yourself around and lining different objects for example this stream flows from the top
left hand corner the image down to the bottom right and makes a
clear and obvious diagonal line through the image i know it’s not a real line like the stream was, but there’s a diagonal relationship going on here between the two main
element to this picture the boat and the Setting Sun i think is
pretty obvious there’s an imaginary diagonal going on in the city sky and another between Jaynes footprint and the rock, if they were simply side by side they’d look really dreadful kind of like dull, boring, uninteresting, so much theory let’s go and put all this into practice.
in the shot we took over there with the fence post the ground is falling away like that so
the fence post are following it, to a real diagonal exists in reality in the shot of the boat on the beach with
the spread some coming through the gap in the clouds that isn’t reality the Sun is millions of miles away whilst the boat is about from me to you away by moving myself from side to side I could choose whether I put the sun smack over the top of the boat or to the right of it or to the left of it, if it was right above the boat it would look really boring, this is all geometry and you can move
elements of your picture around within the frame by moving yourself. Look, we’ve got two benches here, we got this one in the foreground with
the little sapling growing we got another same size bench over there in the
background with a full size tree sticking out of it right now they’re bunched up over on that
side of the frame but by moving the camera over here to
your left notice how the one with the sapling is
now starting to move to the right so we’ve got one bench on the left of the frame, the other on the right in fact as a bit of a diagonal going on
really between the bushy this at the top with this one and the sprint to the bench down beside by may be yourself you can start to
place things where you want to put them within the frame.

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  1. I always love the composition videos more than the others, i always go 'Hows he going to do this one'
    Mike i understand you're a professional now, but when you started off have you ever been crushed by the volume of bad pictures? the lazy me actually took an effort today to go out and take pictures. Every, Single, One turned out blander and flatter than my bank account, and that's saying something.

  2. Oh Yes – I took millions of duff shots when I was learning. It just takes practise and patience. Slow down and think your way through the picture you want to take. Ask yourself if the composition looks better one way to another. Choose which focal length to use for how it makes the image look – not how far away it is etc. Think of the hundreds of incredibly complex things you do when driving your car. It probably seemed impossible to begin with but now you can do it without even thinking. – Mike

  3. Cartier Bresson was a master of geometry. Fantastic series you guys have produced. Thank you for putting it up on YouTube.

  4. Thank you. Please help us spread the word about our films by 'liking' 'G+ing', sharing them and linking to us on photo forums, Facebook etc

  5. I'm between cameras at the moment and it's killing me to watch these and not be able to go out and take some photos to put this into practice. Well, I guess I'm going to have to use my smartphone camera… πŸ™

  6. Thanks. I use my phone to take photos for me more than I use a DSLR – which is mostly for work. Will be making some films about phoneography soon.

  7. I have been working my way through your composition videos, I do think you excel when describing principles of composition in a way that clicks in the mind and are memorial to be put into practice – thank you.

  8. Thank you. I took it in the Greek islands one evening. If you'd like a print or canvas please send me an email via the website and we can sort something out πŸ™‚

  9. Think that these Videos are really good – Mike provides a really clear explanation to each topic with some really good examples – more of the same please!

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