Exercise – Implied lines

Project Using lines in composition

Exercise – Implied Lines

Two important things to bear in mind are that the eye follows a line, and that it also tries to construct a line from appropriate suggestions as a clear line provides a natural path for the eye, which moves along it. The more attractive the line, the stronger the encouragement for the eye to follow it, hence diagonals and curves work better in this way than verticals and horizontals.

Examples of visual clues to imagine a line :

  • A row of points (objects)
  • The extension of a line, or lines, that seem to point in a certain direction. the eye moves ahead
  • The extension of visible movement, such as a car being driven or a person walking (again the eye moves ahead)
  • The direction in which someone in the picture is looking. The viewer’s eye tends to go to the same place, known as an eye-line.

Points two and four, bring me to the sixth exercise – Implied lines. For this exercise I am to find two photographs that use the above kinds of implied lines to lead the eye.


The above photograph is an example of an eye-line. I took this shot down the beach whilst the birds where dropping muscles to try and crack them a few weeks ago, for a previous exercise. But I decided against using it for that particular project. I think that it is a perfect example of an ‘eye-line’. When i look at the picture i feel that my eye creates a diagonal but also curved line from the seagull’s eye to the bottom right hand side of the frame. I feel this creates movement in the shot, as well as the subject its-self in flight, ready to dive. I have tried to find an example that best shows an eye-line image but also and interesting shot which my eye is drawn to.


This photograph (above) shows an example of ‘the extension of a line, or lines that point’. I took this while on holiday earlier this year. I have read that if the line/s in a picture encourage the attention to move out of the frame, the eye then naturally moves back to see more. Which in fact i find myself doing while looking at this shot. The to-and-fro effect creates tension and activity. I also used this photo as in the last activity, I have learned that curves have associations with smoothness, grace and elegance which i think perfectly describes the background horizon setting in this shot.  


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