Exercise: Diagonals

This simple exercise looks at the use of diagonals in photographic composition. The photos below illustrate the fact that most of the time, diagonals are created from viewpoint (angle and perspective rather than genuinely existing!).

In this first shot taken in the London Underground it is the viewpoint creating the diagonal although arguably the movement of the train has emphasised it.

ISO 800, f/11, 1/3 sec, 10mm

The next photo using the compression effect of a telephoto lens.

ISO 200, f/11, 1/50 sec, 225mm

In this shot of Pitstone windmill again I’ve used my viewpoint to arrange the sails to create a diagonal.

ISO 200, f/11, 1/250 sec, 14mm

Finally, slightly less pronounced but again utilising viewpoint is Worthing Pier, the diagonal of the pier and its reflection converging due to the perspective.

ISO 200, f/14, 1/5 sec, 14mm

Here I will add references to great examples of diagonals I’ve spotted elsewhere in other photographic resources:

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