Exercise – Horizontal and Vertical Lines

Having read the brief for this exercise, I decided I would try to shoot as many pictures for this exercise in the 15-20 minutes I had while my wife was at the dentist’s. We were in her home town of Kępno in Poland, a town that I know fairly well, but not well enough to know where to look for horizontal and vertical lines.
For the most part, I used my fixed lens, Fuji x100 to shoot the pictures, allowing me to concentrate on the brief rather than lens choice or settings. I soon tuned in to the lines around me. What was more difficult was the not shooting the same thing twice – fences and railings are the most obvious and useable for both horizontal and vertical.
Part of the exercise brief has us consider how easy it is to find these lines. I found both were prevalent, but in many cases, long horizontals or tall verticals actually became diagonals because of the perspective. I’ve included a couple of examples at the end of the exercise. We were also told to ‘subordinate the content of the picture to the line’. I did this in a couple cases but, as with most of the exercises in the course, have tried where possible to include interesting pictures, not just ones that fulfil the brief.
Finally, during the elements of design section of the course, it is explained that colour can be a distraction from the graphic element we are exploring. Where possible, I’ve left the images in couple, unless I’ve needed to convert to bring out that element…


As with a couple of pictures I took for this exercise, this last view of a drain grate could have been used for horizontal or vertical, depending on the viewer’s perception. To me, and I’m not entirely sure why, this is horizontal, rather than vertical. No doubt helped by the framing, I believe it is the number of items on an axis that makes the difference.


The aim of the exercise was to show different ways in which horizontal and vertical lines can be shown in a photograph, and I believe I’ve done that. Horizontals and verticals are all around us. Performing this exercise made me tune in to these design elements. It also taught me that taller verticals, and longer horizontals become diagonals. They needed to be avoided for this exercise, but may come in handy in future exercises.

I also managed a couple of pictures that included both. I would have used this as horizontal. How about you?

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