Reimagining A Flow Line

Identifying a flow line within any particular landscape is the critical first step for me in choosing a composition, since it becomes the axis for imposing a sense of motion to the image. I think of it as a foil against which to move the camera. As my motion strokes have evolved into more complex curves, I have been able to use less obvious flow lines, while simultaneously varying my motion stroke and employing more dramatic cross strokes.

2 Barking Beach (h5K Wc) 072014 6iN c042512p 1.5 200dpi6.4%22q9-2190The horizon or a shoreline, a pronounced light or shadow or a tree trunk, are obvious choices as flow lines, but they can be very limiting since ninety degree +/- opposing landscape elements tend to over-exaggerate, and thus overwhelm the effects of the stroke.

Another way of thinking about the contrasting effect of the motion-stroke is to express it in terms of the degree to which I can move the camera against the grain of the flow line without completely losing the viewer and still add to the image’s texture.


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