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Vertical Line Photography

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					                                           VERTICAL LINE
         The vertical is the second primary component of the frame, and so is naturally seen in terms of
alignment with the format and with the sides of the picture. A single vertical form understandably sits more
comfortably in a vertical format than a horizontal. A series of verticals, however, acquires a horizontal
structure, as can be seen from the photograph of the leg-rowers opposite; here, a horizontal frame actually
allows more to be made of the series. A vertical line is also the main component in the main image of a
human figure, and of a tree. Its direction is the force of gravity, or something escaping it. Without the inbuilt
associations of a supporting base that give a horizontal line much of its character, a vertical line usually has
more of a sense of speed and movement, either up or down. Seen as uprights from a level viewpoint,
vertical forms can, under the right circumstances, confront the viewer. Several vertical forms can have
associations of a barrier, like posts, or a line of men facing the camera. To an extent, they can express
strength and power. On a practical level, exact alignment is very important, as it is for horizontal lines. In a
photograph, both are immediately compared by the eye with the frame edges, and even the slightest
discrepancy is immediately noticeable. Together, horizontal and vertical lines are complementary. They
create an equilibrium in the sense that their energies are perpendicular to each other; each one acts as a
stop to the other. They can also create a primary sensation of balance, because there is an underlying
association of standing upright, supported on a level surface. If used strongly and simply in an image, this
can produce a solid, satisfying feeling.

				
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posted:8/29/2010
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