Using lines and patterns in a composition, is a great method to lead the eyes of the viewer and add power to a photo. This page describes the purpose of lines and patterns in your composition.
Lines can be used in various ways, but aren’t necessarily literal lines. Subjects, the horizon, hills, or light can all function as horizontal, vertical, or diagonal lines.
Horizontal lines can be used to add calmness and layers to a photo. Avoid using horizontal lines in the dead center of the scene, as it might result in a strange break in the composition. Instead, keep in mind the rule of thirds. Something else to be aware of, is tangents (check out these 5 rules to paint by). Two overlapping horizontal lines, like the horizon and the roof of a building, are distracting for the viewer.
Diagonal lines are known to evoke emotions. They can be used “break” a composition, and add a dynamic touch. According to some studies, diagonal lines starting at the left bottom corner and moving towards the right top corner, are most pleasant to our eyes.
Humans have always liked curves. Curved woman, arches, a stretched curved beach, curly handwritings… We consider curves to be peaceful, harmless, harmonious. Hence, curves are very usable in creating peaceful photos. Your subjects could be curves like the curved lines of a hilly landscape. Or use curves to frame the photo and lead the viewers eyes.
One of the most powerful usages of lines, is to converge them to add a sense of depth to the two-dimensional photo and make your spectators eyes travel trough the scene. Paths and roads are the ultimate lines to accomplish this. Combining this technique with curved lines (a path curling into the distance) is wonderful.
Most photographers automatically use lines in their compositions, because it is a natural visual attraction to us. But being aware of the lines and consciously using them, could potentially improve your photos.
Try to make the lines to work together in the composition. Make lines cross, to add unexpected elements.
Repetitive elements, or patterns can be either boring or intriguing. But you need to train your eyes to recognize some patterns!
Repetitive patterns are used in photography to add depth, perspective, and structure to a photo. Repeating objects of the same size, appear smaller in the far distance, functioning as a scale in the photo.
Breaking a pattern might even emphasize the rhythm of subjects more than to continue a pattern on and on. Try both methods to look for the strongest composition.
There is no right or wrong in using lines and patters, and the best photo, is the photo you like. Nonetheless, using the elements described on this page might help you to get your photography to the next level.