The sky as canvas

As you are creating a picture you must choose your canvas, and that canvas (background) is the whole setting for the picture you will take. The canvas can be anything from the background of the scene, a studio backdrop, or just a bokeh’ed background depending on the type of shot you are trying to capture.

As much of my works puts me outside with natural light I have always been a fan of the sky as a canvas. It really is a beautiful thing to capture.

The other morning my wife and I were walking and watching as the sky began to illuminate with the morning sun. I had taken my camera with me (since you never know what you will come across) and was able to capture some of the beauty that was unfolding in front of us.

This scene caught me with all the lines. They aren’t so much “leading lines” such as railroad tracks or fence posts, as you would normally look for, but rather they are somewhat sporadic and chaotic. But that was the beauty of the scene, all these seemingly random lines (clouds, power lines, grass shoots) joining in the image to allow your eye to roam around and take it all in.

Lines can be a wonderful thing to add depth to an image, they also can be used to lead the viewer’s eye to where you want it to go. Scott Bourne gives this tip, “If you’re in a photographic rut, start looking for lines. There are lines everywhere and they make great compositional elements.” (Photofocus)

Lines are everywhere, and therefore can easily be incorporated into your photography. This picture was taken in Arlington National Cemetery.

The key is in making the lines fit into your frame and subject matter. Taking pictures of lines for the sake of having lines will not necessarily work well, the scene quickly becomes too random and the viewer easily looses focus on the subject of the picture. To keep this from happening make sure that all your lines are relevant to leading the viewer’s eye to the subject or they in no way distract from the subject but rather enhance the subject.

No matter what type of photography you are into, you will come across lines, it is your choice whether to incorporate them or not.


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