Project 2 Visual Skills Exercise 1.3 (2) line

Where I live we are a bit short of modern architecture and elevated positions from which it is possible to look down!  However I have achieved a few pictures that have something of an abstract nature and capture diagonal lines that continue beyond the frame – the joins between some of the stone slabs that form a path round my house.

img_4013 img_4014 img_4012

For the sake of comparison I also took a picture with lines at right angles, and zoomed out using a wide angle lens, being much more literal and less abstract.  An image devoid of any real visual interest!


Review of 1.3 (1) and (2)

How do the various lines relate to the frame?  In the case of the first three images above the lines are not constrained by the frame, they can and do naturally continue beyond the confines, and the visual effect is both natural and comfortable because of the lack of any sense of perspective.  Rather the presence of the frame gives the image form and significance.  Looking at joints in paving slabs without any sort of limit or edge simply does not create a picture.  The view is ordinary and undistinguished (as with the fourth picture above).  It is simply not interesting.  It is therefore the frame that creates the image.

What this exercise calls to mind is the work of James Turrell, specifically his Skyspaces.  (I have seen the one at Cat Cairn near Kielder which is not too far from here.)  There the frame, the hole in the roof of the structure, focuses your attention on a small patch of sky and turns it into an image – a fascinating and ever changing one.  Without the hole, the frame, you are just looking at an undifferentiated and largely unlimited, and therefore undistinguished,  patch of sky.


The lines in the images in 1.3 (1) have a very different relationship with the frame.  The frame is again important in define the extent of the image but does not shape it in quite the same way.  The frame seems to me to act more as an anchor for the line at the point where it first enters the field of view.  It is the line rather than the frame, as above, that defines what you look at.

For comparison I have gone back to look again at the images I shot for Square Mile.  It only strikes me now that in the final set all of the leading lines do indeed end within the frame.  There were a few in the original shoot pictures that do have lines that lead out of the frame.  The effect is, I can now see, slightly odd.  However, they were mostly a deliberate choice as I wanted to lead the viewer on to the next image and next part of the walk.  I have to recognise though, which I obviously did even if only unconsciously when choosing the final set, that these images are not as successful.  Indeed, looking at some of them again I am left with the impression that rather than leading you on to the next step they actually leave you a little lost, unsure where you are supposed to go next.


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