The second element of composition after point is line, particularly the lines that draw the eye through an image to create perspective, that is a sense of depth that takes the viewer into the image beyond the two-dimensional construct of the printed image.
Eugene Atget the Parisian street photographer managed to create a strong sense of depth in his images using diminishing object size and converging lines.
This image below of the Rue de L’Hotel de Ville was taken by Atget in 1921. He travelled by bus throughout Paris taking his photographs using a 10×8 large format camera. It is also likely that he used small apertures to ensure focus and this sharpness back to front together with the converging lines accentuates the sense of depth in the image.
Below are three of my images which attempt to convey depth through the use of vanishing lines within the image.
In all three images I have used the landscape format for consistency but have played with the compositional elements.
- The first image splits the image into the top third being sky, two thirds fore-to-mid and the image was taken from a standing position using a mild wide-angle (35mm equiv) at f8 for good depth of field. All lines converge towards the centre horizon and it does show depth.
- the second image splits sky and foreground at fifty-fifty and the meandering river takes the eye to the right and then back o the centre distance of the image. The image was taken from near waist position using a very wide angle (16mm equiv) at f16 for front to back depth of field. It’s a more interesting composition than the first image
- The final image was taken from a very low position using the same angle of view as image 2. The lower portion adds a little more drama to the composition and the foreground dominates the composition. There is only one main leading line, being the gap in the corn but it does give a strong sense of depth, enhanced by the slightly over-exposed but dramatic cloud filled sky.
- Bloomfield, R (2014) Photography 1: Expressing your Vision., OCA 2017, p.24