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Lines Lead The Way Essay

717 words - 3 pages

There are many formal visual that make up a photograph. For example, repetition, framing, balance, leading lines, negative space and focal point. Lines and focal points are very important aspects of photographs because they affect the way we view the image. For example, they can pull us into the picture and grab our attention, they can pull us toward the subject thus enhancing the focal point and they take our eyes on a journey throughout the scene. The formal visual element of leading lines to a focal point is evident in all of the following pictures: Candida Höfer’s Trinity College Library Dublin, 2004, in chromogenic print, Lewis Baltz’s South Corner, Riccar American Company, 3184 Pullman, Costa Mesa, 1974, in silver gelatin print and Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Still #48, 1979 in silver gelatin print. I am grouping these photographs together according to their use of leading lines that guide our eyes to the focal point of the photograph. These photographs all have lines that lead to only one spot, as though the photographer is demanding that we only focus on the focal point. I am doing this because without lines a picture can appear overwhelming and confusing. In addition, lines allow the photographer to tell his own story; we see what the photographer wants us to see, in the order he wants us to see it.
Candida Höfer’s Trinity College Library Dublin, uses the repetition of objects in order to create lines. There are four main objects used to create the lines that lead to the focal point at the end of the library. One object is the bookshelves. They are placed in rows along both walls, thus creating a thick straight line that brings our attention to the focal point of the photograph (the end of the library). The second object used is the railing placed next to the bookshelves on the second level. These dark grey railings create a continuous thick line that contrast with the light brown color of the bookshelves, thus creating an ever more prominent line leading to the end of the...

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