Lines in Photography

– What is the impact of lines in photography?

– Lines contribute to the composition and mood of image!

Lines can create two-dimensional or even delusional three-dimensional environment in an image. Different properties of lines such as their angles, directions, density, curves, color, and thickness can significantly impact on image composition and mode. Although horizontal and vertical lines can create sense of stability, peace of mind, and permanency in an image, other types including perspective, angular, and irregular lines can act completely different as emotional triggers and attention grabbers (read this article for more details). Add to the list, lines can cooperate with other objects to put them in center of attention, push them to background, reduce or emphasis their impact, or simply fill their surrounding space.

Blue lines (Sony DSLR-A350, f/5.6, 1/250 sec, ISO320, Sony AF DT 18-250 @ 140mm)

Image story: Workers in general, and specifically painters bring peace and beauty into our daily life. I took this photo in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia in my only trip to East Malaysia. I used parallel vertical lines together with emphasize on blue color to bring sense of peace into the image. On the other hand, I kept the simplicity of the image by removing unnecessary colors. This also helped me to transfer my message that “they bring color into our life, no matter how grey their life might be.”

– Roohollah

Perspective Illusion

– What is perspective?

– Perspective is an illusion to present 3D space on 2D surface!

Although photograph is a 2D surface, it is capable of showing 3D space by applying perspective (Read more on Wikipedia). Point of view is very important to apply perspective in photography. Look into camera view finder and move from side to side of objects, buildings, and spaces to see the effect of point of view on perspective.

Perspective illusion (Sony DSLR-A350, f/5, 1/500 sec, ISO200, Sony AF DT 18-250 @ 18mm)

Image story: Damghan is an old city in Semnan province, Iran. It was an important city in the Middle Ages, and was the capital of the province of Qumis (Qoomes), but was destroyed by the Afghans in 1723. Few remnants of that time remain; one is the ruined Tari-khaneh mosque with a number of massive columns and wood carvings and two minarets of the 11th century (Read more on Wikipedia). I took this photo of inner courtyard of Tari-khaneh mosque when I visited Damghan in 2014. This specific point of view adds perspective to the shot and shows greatness of the structure. Some post-processing has been done to better show the age of the mosque.

– Roohollah

Shooting Rain

– How can I shoot rain?

– Adjust shutter speed to convert rain drops to lines!

Shooting in rain is challenging, mainly because of possible gear damage due to wet environment. Also, lightness and contrast are not great in cloudy sky that make it hard to get bright and sharp images. However, every moment of life is worthy to be captured, because of its uniqueness. So, there is no excuses to not to shoot rain! Lets back to the subject, shooting rain! As we discussed before, the most important thing about moving objects is their speed. As the object moves faster, your camera shutter speed has to be faster to freeze it, or you will end up with a blurry object. Rain drops are liquid objects fall from the clouds and if we freeze them by fast enough shutter speed, small pixels of water will be appeared in photo. If you try it out, you will find out that the result is nothing but a noisy image. So, how to capture real rain? It’s simple, slow down shutter speed to convert falling drops to small lines of water. This will help you to show rain in photo the same as we see it by our eyes.

Gloomy Sky (Canon EOS 450D, f/5.6, 1/160 sec, ISO 200, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS @ 55 mm)

Image story: Malaysian rain is really awesome. True tropical rain that makes you get wet in a few seconds. I took this photo in a rainy afternoon from the balcony of my apartment in level 5. So, there was no problem of getting wet and the height was enough to provide a great view. I used 1/160 sec shutter speed to make small rain lines from fast falling drops of rain. A little post processing made the rain lines clearer and easier to see.

In addition to adjusting shutter speed, there are some other tips that may help you to get better results. Using a tripod may help you to avoid blurry images, since you are slowing down shutter speed based on rain speed. Remember to not to fire flash, because the light will be reflected in water drops and you will get noisy image as a result. If you need more light, lower flash power and use deffuser to reduce the reflection. Adjusting f-stop is based on your desired depth of filed, so do it wisely. Last but not least is that focusing on a near object makes you able to capture nearer rain drops that are seen clearer and brighter.

– Roohollah