Understanding Composition: Converging Lines

March 18, 2011 · 2 comments

in Equipment,Interiors,Scapes,Tutorials

Lines can be powerful elements in a photograph. Multiple lines that converge together, is a great technique to draw the viewers’ eye to the focal point, or lead their eye through the image.

Converging lines are all around us – railway tracks, roads, fences, power lines. Once you get into the habit of looking for converging lines, you’ll start to see them in architectural spaces and in nature. The best way to make these lines pop out for you, is to think “perspective”. Virtually any lines (man made or natural) that run into the distance will converge at some point.

Experiment with Positioning the Convergence

Remember that converging lines draws the eye through the image, towards the point of convergence, and therefore, to your focal point.

Play around with where you position the point of convergence in your frame. Placing the convergence in the centre of your frame can be very powerful, but positioning the convergence to the side can convey movement and assist in leading the viewers’ eye through your photograph. When placing the convergence to the side of your frame, remember the Rule of Thirds, and consider placing the convergence on one of the intersecting points on the imaginary grid.

Convergence in the centre of the frame:

Convergence using the Rule of Thirds:

When positioning the point of convergence outside your frame, think if this will unbalance the composition, or if it will add to the mystery.

Adding Interest at the Point of Convergence

Since the eye naturally flows converging lines, consider intentionally placing your subject matter at the point of convergence.

Choosing your Lens

The best lens to use to achieve maximum impact with converging lines is a wide-angle lens, as it helps to exaggerate the width of the lines.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Diaan December 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Thanks for pointing out this article Rikki. Converging lines, spotting them at least, is one of the harder things for me. I guess I should spend some time practising with them.

rikki hibbert December 19, 2011 at 11:56 am

An easy way to notice them, is to look where the perspective lines converge, and then place that point on one of the 4 intersecting points in the “Rule of Thirds”

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