Diagonal Lines in Photography Composition
Image © Randy McKown

One of my favorite techniques of photography composition is using diagonal lines. Using diagonal lines can be just what you need to add depth to your images and bring them to life.

Diagonal lines are dynamic and emphasize perspective in your images. You can use them to direct the viewers’ attention across the frame to key points of interest. They can help define the size or height of a subject. They can also be used to create a sense of motion and energy.

Diagonal Lines in Photography Composition

There are two ways to capture diagonal lines in your photography compositions. You can either look for those that appear naturally in your surroundings or you can create them by tilting your camera. In other words, diagonal lines are literally everywhere.

For the above image of the green leaf, I had to move my camera into position to create the diagonal composition that I wanted. However, the lines of the golden Aspen trees on the mountainside below were formed naturally.

Diagonal Lines in Photography Composition
Image © Randy McKown

When photographing a subject where the composition seems to be just a bit flat and boring, try giving it a little tilt. This might be all it takes to turn a boring snapshot into a more interesting composition. The trick is to be careful that you don’t take your diagonals too far.

A sharp angle might work great for one photo but then ruin the composition of another subject. Take your time and determine how steep of an angle works best for your image. Take several shots increasing the tilt with each frame so that you can later choose the winning shot.

This is a relatively simple composition technique to master. So next time you’re out with your camera, remember this photography tip and try adding some diagonal lines to your next photography compositions.

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