Exercise: Diagonals

The brief:

Diagonal lines are rather easier to create in a photography as they depend mainly on viewpoint. Whereas many scenes contain real horizontals and verticals – streets and buildings, for instance – there are few real diagonals; staircases are one of only a few instances. The camera angle and perspective, however, make diagonals common in photographs. To add to your set of examples of horizontal and vertical lines, now take four photographs which use diagonals strongly.

Figure 01 - Diagonals - Chuck Wagons

Figure 01 – Diagonals – Chuck Wagons
f8, 1/640, 22mm, 400 ISO

On a recent visit to a berry farm I found this display of chuck wagons next to a strawberry field which are used as supplementary restaurant seating during warmer weather.  I was reminded of my native country of South Africa’s history where the migrant farmers would circle similar type wagons (only bigger) in order to provide protection from marauding tribes. The diminishing perspective leaves one wondering if there are any more wagons circling off to the left. As it had been an extremely grey day, I experimented a little during the post processing in Lightroom, and dragged down my highlights, boosted the shadows and added lots of clarity. This brought out the detail in the clouds and enhanced the wooden texture of the chuck wagons. I also cloned out a couple of flagstones that were next to the second wagon that were quite distracting. I’m quite chuffed with the result.

Figure 02 - Diagonals - Canada Place

Figure 02 – Diagonals – Canada Place
f8, 1/640, 55mm, 100 ISO

I was determined to treat my holiday as a working vacation so I was always on the lookout for items to fit the coursework criteria. So imagine my joy when I stepped onto the top deck of the cruise ship and looked down on these layered diagonal lines. The zig zag pattern of the stairs provide a rhythmic motion to the image, which is accentuated by the diagonal underside of the staircase and the lamps on the stairs. These are further accentuated by the solid upright posts (positioned in a diminishing perspective) supporting the beam and balcony. Just a slight crop and contrast adjustment was done in Lightroom.

Figure 03 - Diagonals - Wake

Figure 03 – Diagonals – Wake
f8, 1/2000, 70mm, 200 ISO

Early in the morning, just before entering Tracy Arm, I noticed this wonderful undulating pattern of the ship’s wake as it broke through the water. The undulations form diagonal ripples across the frame before veering off into the distance creating a sense of calm. I only adjusted the contrast slightly, dropped the highlights a tad, opened up the shadows a bit and added a bit of clarity to this image using Lightroom.

Figure 04 - Diagonals - Lions Gate Bridge

Figure 04 – Diagonals – Lions Gate Bridge
f8, 1/320, 18mm, 100 ISO

Upon returning to Vancouver, the ship has to go under the Lions Gate Bridge to enter the harbour and this was taken as the ship sailed under the bridge. The bridge is two kilometres long stretching over the narrows between Stanley Park (a 400 hectare rain forest right in the heart of the downtown core, which was also just recently voted as the World’s Number 1 park in the world by Tripadvisor)  and the North Shore. At the bottom left of the frame the city is just coming into view.  The diagonal of the bridge is reinforced by the two diagonal streaking white clouds in the sky.


Reference List

Freeman, Michael (2007). The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and design for Better Digital Photos, The Ilex Press. Lewes, England.