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How to Use Curved Lines in Photography Composition

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In this post, we are going to teach you how to use curved lines in your photo compositions.

Curved Lines Add Beauty and Grace to a Photo

Curved lines have a unique ability to add beauty and grace to a photo.

The smooth contour of curved lines help soften the subject within a photograph as opposed to straight lines, like horizontal/vertical/diagonal which tend to make a photo feel more rigid and dynamic.

Curved lines in a composition allow our eyes to explore a photo in a smooth, free-flowing manner.

Curved lines are more romantic, or dramatic than straight lines. This occurs because the viewer has something to follow with their eyes.

Curved lines suggest more of a journey, whereas straight lines lead the viewer to the destination very quickly.

It takes longer to follow a curved line in a photograph’s composition than it does a straight line within a photograph which helps soften a photo and add beauty and grace to it.

The next time you want to make a photo feel more beautiful, try incorporating curved lines within it.

Take the photos below for example.

Compare the shape of the curves in the woman’s body to that of the tall man standing vertically still. How does each composition make you feel? You’ll probably agree that the photo of the woman feels softer and more sensual while the photograph of the man feels rigid and tight. This response comes from the different types of lines present in each photograph. If the woman had been laying flat on her side the photo would not have felt as sensual.

Curved Lines in Photography by Kevin Thom
Photo by Kevin Thom
Curved Lines in Photography by MyArtPrints
Photo by My Art Prints

Curved Lines Lead the Eye in a Composition

A popular technique with photographers is to compose a photo using curved lines to pull the viewer into a photograph. The most common type of curve used is the S Curve.

S Curves have more of an impact than just plain curved lines.

By nature, S Curves are symmetrical and balanced on each side which gives them strength. Other types of curves are often asymmetrical and the affect on the viewer may be unpredictable. S Curves on the other hand are predictable and usually elicit the same response from viewers: charm and grace. That is why you see this type of curve used most often in photography.

Take the photos below for example. Do you notice how the S Curve of the train tracks slowly pull you into the photo? Your eyes subconsciously wander through the photo following the track to its destination. If this train track was composed with straight vertical lines you would have been pulled abruptly into the image. Similarly, the photo of the sand dune contains an S Curve that gives your eyes a longer journey to follow which helps to soften the photo and add beauty and grace to it.

Curved Lines in Photography by !Shot by Scott!
Photo by !Shot by Scott!
Curved Lines in Photography by Desmond Charles Photography
Photo by Desmond Charles Photography

We hope you enjoyed this photography tutorial on how you can effectively use curved lines in your photographs. Please share this tutorial with other photographers using the button below!

 

One Comment

  1. fotograf profesionist

    February 4, 2012 at 12:01 am

    fotograf profesionist…

    […]How to Use Curved Lines in Photography | FreeDigitalPhotographyTutorials.com[…]…

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