May 03 2009


Published by at 9:19 am under General


Photos are about what each individual prefers, but there are a handful of rules of photo composition that can help build the basis of a great photo that you can use for your photo canvas print. One of the key things to look for when composing a photo is  ‘lines and different shapes’. It is helpful to train your eyes to look for lines and shapes. They can be a powerful building block that can lead to a significant impact on your photo. Lines and shapes are helpful in adding mood and atmosphere to your finished product or creating a desired effect. They can be useful in either leading the eye’s to a part of your image, or leading the eyes from one part to another.

Using lines and shapes takes some practice and it is often beneficial to go back through previous photos you have taken to see what has worked and what hasn’t worked. Have a look at all of the different lines and shapes that you can use. Using these tips will add to your finished print.


Horizontal Lines

Horizontal lines can be powerful in creating photos that are tranquil. They can have the ability to convey restfulness and stability. An idea of this may be romantic couple laying in long grass. The most common horizontal lines to be found in photographs are generally horizons,  but be careful not to run the horizon directly through the centre of the photograph dividing the equal amounts of the sky and landscapes. This may often have a adverse effect and possibly create a dull image. Although this is not always the rule. It is good practice to pick out the more impressive part of your scene, for example sunsets with dramatic clouds. Also keep in mind that broken horizons may lead to a dull feeling photograph.

If you want to add rhythm to your photo, look for layers of horizontal lines, for example layers of rolling waves. The rhythm can than become the focus or subject of the picture itself.

Another good tip when using horizontal lines is to try it to try to keep the lines square with the edges of you frame and to also shoot your image in a horizontal format. Adding horizontal lines into your image can really make a difference to how your photo on canvas will enhance the mood .


Vertical Lines

Vertical lines can convey various different moods from grandeur and dignity to strength. Objects such as trees and buildings represent horizontal lines. If you want to create a very powerful and dynamic picture combine vertical lines with horizontal lines. If you really want to emphasize the dynamics of the vertical line, try taking your photos in a vertical plane. Although, as with all photography this is only a guide. If you want the lines to appear as if they are moving out of the top of the photo, it then becomes useful to leave your camera in a landscape format. Take your photo so that the lines move from the bottom to the top of your picture.


Diagonal Lines in Your Image

Diagonal lines that are used in your picture are sometimes considered the most interesting. They are representative of movement and speed. They can lead you into the frame of the image and to the point of interest. A good idea is to avoid splitting the frame of your image in two by running diagonal lines from one corner of the picture to the other. The image my lose it’s drive from this particular cause. To achieve a more balanced image within the confines of your frame try to create a diagonal that starts just to one side of the corner and travels to the one side of the opposite corner. Using curved lines within your frame can also be representative of moods such as grace and dignity.

If you really want to add an interest to your finished photo print look for different ways to include interesting diagonal lines into your image. Keep in mind when you are taking photos that it is worth remembering the different moods and feelings that they can convey.



Shapes are basic two dimensional elements in the composition of your photos. You can use different shapes to achieve different moods within your image. Shapes can include anything from triangles to odd numbers to create interesting photographic geometry. Shapes such as squares and rectangle can be less interesting as they basically mirror the frame of the image, so it lacks interesting conflict. Make them more creative and use them with diagonals and triangles to create a more dynamic picture. Make shapes more interesting by placing them against a contrasting background for example a white yacht sail against a dark and moody sky. A great use of shapes are also silhouettes. The use straight lines and curved lines or circles and can have a ability to create tension in your image.



Shapes and lines can add a very dynamic and interesting element to you photo composition, so next time you have your camera out keep in mind these basic rules. To find out about printing your photo to canvas visit Canvas Prints Online.


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