Exercise 1.3 (1) Line

These photos were all taken on a day trip to Glasgow with a Canon 40D and standard kit lens 17-85.  Unfortunately my 6D had developed a fault with the lens mount and the purpose of the trip was to drop it in for repair.

The task

Take a number of shots using lines to create a sense of depth.  Shooting with a wide angle lens (zooming out) strengthens a diagonal line by giving it more length within the frame.  The effect is dramatically accentuated if you choose a viewpoint close to the line.

This picture has lines going in several directions – what gives it the depth as shown in the course book (p.24) is the lines through the glass which head diagonally into the distance.


Again in this picture there are a number of vertical lines receding in the distance towards the railway station – it may have had even more depth if I had stood to the left of the seat.


This one has two areas of depth – the eye is drawn to the centre of the subway structure and one can imagine the steps going down into the subway but there is also depth with the building stretching behind the subway suggesting further street areas.


This next photo there is some depth leading into the glass panelled wall and then one catches glimpses of further wall on the right hand side leading into the distance.


The following picture I think has some of the uncomfortableness talked about in the course book in that the line of the road while going into the distance doesn’t seem to go to any particular point and so your eye keeps traveling back to the beginning:


Whereas this photo does lead to the building at the end of the street – on reflection there were further photos I could have taken in this area to create some more abstract shots (particularly with the building on the right) as needed for the second part of this exercise:


I have looked at the photos taken by Eugene Atget (Badger: 2001) around areas of Paris and the sense of depth in many of the photos – often this was achieved by looking down narrow lanes to buildings at the end or through open doorways or through windows.

The reproduction of one of Atget’s photos on page 31 shows a narrow cobbled street leading into buildings.  He has also made the photo interesting in that he has some ‘points’ or punctum with the old wheelbarrows.

On page 83 (Badger:2001) there is an image of a bridge over water – the photo also includes grass to the front and a wall to the side which helps lead to a sense of spatial depth.

 There were no such narrow lanes in the part of Glasgow I was in to my knowledge and unfortunately I was restricted for time.  However I think the above gives an idea of ways to create depth if you look hard enough. In fact Clarke(1997, p. 75) speaks of the ‘visual complexity of a city as both an image and an experience’


Badger, G. (2001).  Eugene Atget 55.  London: Phaidon Press Ltd.

Clarke G. (1997).  The Photograph.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.


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