Note the diagonal line in this picture
The Diagonal Line
by Brad Herndon
While seemingly insignificant, inserting a diagonal line in your pictures will really perk up the images. For instance, a child posing with their pole and first fish will be cute, but rather boring if the child is holding the pole straight up and down. Have the child cradle the fishing pole diagonally in the crook of their arm and that same picture will jump off of the page. Similarly, placing a diagonal line in a farm scene adds eye appeal to the image. The diagonal line could be a fence row, field edge, a lane, or some other part of the scene. Study every angle of every image you take. It does make a difference.
Consider the American flag being raised at Iwo Jima during World War II. This is one of the most famous pictures in American history, and a diagonal line played a big part in it. The first flag raised that day was smaller and the soldiers were posing with the flag in a straight upright position. Later on in the day a larger flag was found and the shot was again taken, this time by a different photographer. In this case the sharp photographer had the flag placed in a diagonal position, in the process of being raised. This placement created a feeling of action and excitement and literally made the picture what it is today.
This is a nice diagonal family pose
A good way for a young family to work a strong diagonal line into their family pictures is to place dad on the end (he is usually tallest), then mom (she is usually the second tallest), and then the kids in descending height. This makes a neat looking diagonal line and makes the picture pleasing to the eye.
Note the diagonal use in this shot
Using Diagonal Lines With A Hunter
If you, a family member, or a friend harvests a nice deer or turkey, be sure to put the action of a diagonal line into the picture. When posing with a deer or turkey, make sure the gun is at that all important diagonal angle. If you are photographing a friend hunting, make sure his gun or bow is at an angle.
We use angles frequently in the hunter setups we do. A hunter drawing a bow and holding it level is rather boring. Conversely having him aim the bow and angling it downward gives the picture implied action. This gives the viewer the impression he is up high. Actually, he could be standing on level ground when the picture is taken.
One of my first good butterfly picture
Diagonal Lines In Wildlife Photography
I was very happy when I captured my first good butterfly pictures, such as the one on this page. Still, they didn’t look quite as exciting as some other butterfly pictures I was seeing in magazines. Then another photographer tipped me off to putting the butterfly in the picture at an angle, which implied it was about ready to take off. This angle gives the shot action and excitement. You will see the difference it makes in the two butterfly pictures included with this article.
This diagonal line makes this picture exciting
Since I received the valuable tip many years ago I have tried to put exciting diagonal lines into my pictures of wildlife, whether it is insects, birds, deer, elk, or some other animal.
Several years ago there was a great wildlife photographer named Tom Edwards. I could almost always identify his pictures before reading the credit line because he was the master at catching deer heading uphill. Of course this put a nice diagonal line in the deer’s back and just made it come alive.
Guess what made this picture interesting?
Putting Action And Excitement In Our Lives
Jesus Christ was an exciting guy while he was on this earth. He could walk on water, heal the blind, lepers, and deaf mutes, restore weathered hands, and much more. Jesus could do it by touching people, or he could do it by simply saying words at a distance. He also had control over nature, such as controlling storms, and he could multiply food. I might also mention he was resurrected from the dead after lying in a tomb for a few days. This shouldn’t be surprising, of course, since Jesus was God in the flesh, and therefore all powerful.
Many years ago when I studied this all out and became convinced Jesus was who he said he was, life became more exciting, and joyful, because of His Holy Spirit within me. Whether you are a Christian, or are not a Christian, I want to state at this point that becoming a Christian doesn’t guarantee we won’t make a few more mistakes, or get a little lazy along the way.
Matthew Henry, the great theologian whose writings still sell so well today despite the fact he died in 1714, states it very well in one of his books: We mistake, if we think to monopolize the comforts and benefits of the gospel to ourselves.
What Matthew Henry was saying was that as a Christian we know we’re going to heaven, but if we aren’t careful we can get so lazy we hoard the gospel within our own life. Therefore we may end up never making much of an effort to tell others of the saving grace of Jesus.
Jesus recognized the danger of us getting lazy in our faith, and gets our attention when we read in Revelation 3:16 what he says to the church at Laodicea. So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Lukewarm can mean lacking ardor, enthusiasm or conviction. It also can mean being moderate, mild, unemotional, halfhearted, hesitant, indecisive, uncertain, uncommitted, unresponsive, indifferent, apathetic, nonchalant and lackadaisical.
I don’t want any of those words to describe my photographic efforts, and definitely not my spiritual life--or yours. Certainly by reading all of the great devotional material found on this Web site each of us will be encouraged, loved, and lifted up, and thereby we can avoid this lukewarm pitfall.
Use the diagonal line with instects
So until we meet again in our next photography lesson, work hard at putting action and excitement into your pictures by using diagonal lines. Also, work hard at recognizing the fact that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior. By allowing his Holy Spirit to work within you, your life will become more active, joyful, and exciting. This will be a beautiful picture for others to behold.
Brad and Carol Herndon
Brad and Carol Herndon live in a small cabin nestled in beautiful Browstown, In. Brad and Carol have the unique ability to see the world through the lens of a camera! They take this wonderful gift and use it to bring those who view thier work closer to the Creator, Almighty God, who has created all things seen and unseen!