Activity 1: Line and Shape in Photography (VC)

This activity is about defining how lines and shapes help to draw attention to the subject on the photo, make it more structured and organized.

(These photo have not been edited/enhanced)


Lead line should be a defined line which your eye can follow on a photo to the subject. It is a very powerful technique that helps to get the attention of the viewer to the point of interest in the picture. It is like a visual trick to draw the viewer into the photo like he was in the three-dimensional space as photographic images are two dimensional. This trick is commonly used in landscape photography.

As an example I would like to use two shots I currently took during my trip to South Island in New Zealand (February 2014) as it shows two different approaches to an use of a lead line. I also prefer to use these photos as I my main goal during my trip was taking some new presentable landscape photos because New Zealand provides absolutely amazing views. It will be only photos from this trip I took with my husband and also my No.1 photography assistant who helps me a lot with my work – someone needs to carry all the equipment around, right? 🙂 But my husband is also the secret behind managing most of the technical issues around the photo studio. All of these photos has been chosen from a series of photos when I was trying to get the best result and tried to shoot the subjects from different angles while creating structured photos using all these below mentioned shapes. That’s why they can be used for this activity.

One example is a lead line by a road that lead to the mountains far away. The road gets the viewers attention as first and lead the eye to the magnificent natural phenomenon clouds falling down the mountains like a water.www.ginadphoto.comMy second example is also a photo from New Zealand, a popular landscape photography theme – a lighthouse. This lighthouse had a small fenced wooden bridge which created a great lead line to draw the attention to the lighthouse.

© Gina D PhotoV SHAPE:

V shape is also used to draw the attention of the viewer to a particular subject, but usually the subject is in that shape. This photo has been taking during the boat trip around the Milford Sounds. Using shapes in out picture also shows the structure and organization of the photo. Giving our photo a primary shape (L & V etc.) helps us to create some stability and regularity within our photo. © Gina D PhotoL SHAPE:

© Gina D PhotoThere are two L shape and most probably more you can find it this photo. The sky gives a great contrast with the building and the shape stands out even more. Shooting this photo from the bottom with wide angle provided much more interesting view of the building and creates a better sense of its shape / high. It was taken in a small village called Oamaru.


© Gina D PhotoLast photo was taken when leaving the interesting phenomenon Moeraki Boulders at Koekohe Beach, NZ. I saw this beautiful fence used for supporting these beautiful flowers to grow.

Diagonals work just is a similar way as the other shapes mentioned above. The give a structure to the picture drawing the viewers attention. Flower itself would be a bit boring theme but with the diagonal fencing it is more interesting and structured. The lines do not have to be actual lines in the photo, they could just be fencing like in this photo, but also shapes created by roads, buildings, trees, rivers etc. Diagonal lines can give a photo a different perspective. Also you have to be careful to keep the structure in the photo and do not make it chaotic and confusing by creating lots of lines. Remember that the main purpose is to draw the attention the point of interest of your photo and accentuate it.

All photos are copyrighted © Gina D Photo

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