Category Archives: 3 – Using lines in composition

Exercise – Implied lines

In this exercise, I am looking at images that don’t necessarily contain solid lines for the observer to see; but they appear to the viewer through implication. For example by relationships with more than one points of interest in an image or suggestion of movement or by symmetrical patterns.

Image copied from “The Art of Photography” by OCA.

Two images in my course book offer implied lines. The first is of the Toreador and the Bull which has an extension of an implied line that runs from the curved line on the ground along the second flag held in the Toreador’s left hand finishing as a line going out of the picture on the left by the Bull’s tail.

Image copied from “The Art of Photography” by OCA.

the second picture has three implied lines one following the horses eye-line and the other two suggest the curved direction that the two horses are galloping. I think that the strongest of these lines is the eye-line.

I looked amongst my library of old photos to try and find examples of implied lines; but as this is a compositional technique that I was unfamiliar with, I struggled. Finaly I found three examples. However, please forgive the quality.

Implied lines-3-resized

In this photo the implied line is following the eye-line of these performers.

Implied lines-3-resized-a

Implied lines-1-resized
My apologies for this poor example which is terribly out of focus; but it was the only example that I could find from my old library providing implied lines through movement.

Implied lines-1-resized-a

Taking this idea of composition I went out and about to find some opportunities to get some images using this technique.

Implied lines that point-1
I found this view when visiting a museum in Alicante, Spain. Seen from the bottom of an escalator at the MARQ, Alicante, railway station of a modernist steel statue I found this position to get the lines to lead up to the statue and create the impression that it was in fact standing on the top the escalator coming down.

Implied lines eye line-1-resized
I saw this potential implied eye-line as I passed a bar in Spain and quickly took the shot before I was noticed, using just my small holiday snapper. (See the picture of Robert Redford looking down as if he is also reading her menu.)

Implied lines eye line-2-resized
I also include this one as implied eye-line as these two gentlemen are both looking at something out of the picture. They were in fact watching some workmen digging up the road further down the street. Taken using my holiday happy snapper on the Streets of Altea, Spain.