A rather insightful article on the Mastering Photography website highlighted the impact of images with converging lines in photography. The article by Richard Gray was principally covering what makes people ‘like’ Instagram images and one of the things that stood out was that images depicting converging lines were amongst the most popular.
As a trainee draughtsman I was taught the importance of the vanishing point and perspective style drafting of buildings, how to calculate vanishing point and use it in the days before CADCAM. The article struck a chord with me and I began taking a fresh look at some of my more popular images.
Indeed, the theme runs true, not just in my personal iPhone images, but in commissioned work and stock library images that have proved popular. There was no doubt, our eyes like the effect of converging lines, for whatever reason. Here’s a few examples.
In some converging lines are the principal element of the shot, in others it’s not the main subject, but an element of the shot that adds interest.
Digital Photography School has written an article with some useful tips on photographing converging lines
This shot was pre planned with Rob, the helicopter pilot. Access to airfield runways doesn’t happen every day, but these converging lines are Sherburn in Yorkshire’s main runway when breifly closed to traffic. Read the full feature over at Historic Racer
Tracking shots nearly always have converging lines, it’s just that viewers don’t immediately see them, as you’re looking at the car. However, my most popular tracking shots are indeed the ones that show the road leading into the distance
This one is obvious. Another runway, this time the vast expanse of Elvington’s 10,000 feet strip, the threshold in the foreground.
And here’s another Elvington runway location. This time showing the brilliant Jaguar XKR-S featured in Historic Racer recently.
Seaside piers are an obvious choice. It’s pretty much impossible to photograph a pier without showing this aspect.
These two were shot using the iPhone and a fisheye lens adapter. A few years old now, you can see that iPhone lens technology has moved along since then.
So something that I did because my eye subconsciously told me it looked right turns out to have a common design element running through it. Personally, I blame my draughtsman tutors, it’s all their fault…
Next time you’re out shooting or you see a shot you’re going to grab with your iPhone, take a moment to stop and examine the composition. Chances are, if it’s a spontaneous shot, there’s be a vanishing point in it somewhere.