photo of framland with diagonal lines by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Ultimate Guide to Diagonal Lines Photography: Types | Benefits | Creative Ways | Tips

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Diagonal lines photography is an interesting and often underused photography technique. It can add visual interest and impact to your photos when used correctly. This article will discuss diagonal lines photography, why you should use it, and how to create stunning images using this technique.

What are Diagonal Lines in Photography?

Diagonal lines are a great way to add interest to a photo and can lead the eye into the frame or create a sense of movement. They can be created using lines of a subject, like a fence or a road, or by positioning the camera at an angle. Photography diagonal lines can also be created by tilting the camera, which will cause vertical lines to become diagonal.

When using diagonal lines in photography, it's important to remember that they should lead the eye towards the photo's subject. Otherwise, they'll create confusion and make the photo seem busy. Diagonal lines can give a photo a dynamic feel and add visual interest when used effectively.

Types of Diagonal Lines in Photography

We have three main types of diagonal lines in photography:

  • Objects placed diagonally in a scene
  • Real diagonal lines
  • A diagonal line created by the viewpoint

photo of stairs with diagonal lines

Photo by Ben Lambert on Unsplash

    1. Objects Placed Diagonally in a Scene

    Only when you can't find any actual lines in the image, arrange the objects such that they can form a diagonal line. Keep this in mind when someone looks at your images, their eyes will move from the bottom left to the top right corner. If you don't have any objects on hand, try using naturally occurring lines or artificial ones. Examples: Row of trees, Location of a person's arms and legs

    2. Real Diagonal Lines

    To include diagonal lines in a scene, look for real ones. The simplest diagonal lines to use are visible just by looking around. If you look around you, I bet you could recognize a few. Examples are; bridges, stairs, telephone lines, roofs.

    3. A Diagonal Line Created by the Viewpoint

    When viewed from the side, a horizontal line will become a diagonal line, immediately becoming more intriguing. To enhance the distortion and make it more diagonal, use a wide-angle and a low point of view on a vertical line. Examples: As you do down a road the road's edges merge into diagonal lines.

    4 Benefits of Photography Diagonal Lines

    Diagonal lines are a key element of many photographs and can be used to great effect.

    photo of diagonal lines with special view

    Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

    Diagonal lines add creativity and directionality. Diagonal lines can give a photo a dynamic feel and add visual interest when used correctly. They can also lead the eye into the frame or create a sense of movement.

    Diagonal Lines Add Tension to Composition. Diagonal lines usually imply motion or a sense of instability. This is because diagonal lines are less stable than horizontal or vertical lines. Diagonal lines can add tension and energy to an otherwise static composition when used in photography.

    Diagonal Lines Create Depth. Diagonal lines can also create the illusion of depth in a photograph. By positioning diagonal lines in the background of a photo, you can make the background appear further away, and the foreground appear closer. This is an effective way to add depth to a photograph without using a shallow depth of field.

    4 Efficient Ways to Create Diagonal Lines in Photography

    Diagonal lines are one of the most powerful tools in photography. They can add depth, create movement, and lead the viewer's eye through the frame. But how do you create diagonal lines in your photography?

    photo of plants with diagonal lines by looking up

    Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

    There are four main ways to create diagonal lines in photography:

    1. A Diagonal Line Created by the Viewpoint

    Many photographers believe that the best way to create diagonal lines in their images is to place the subjects in the corners of the frame. However, this can often lead to compositions that seem static and overtly artificial. A better approach is to adjust the camera so that the subject is a little off-center.

    This will give the image a sense of dynamism and make it more visually appealing. In addition, it will also help to create a more balanced composition. So next time you want to add diagonal lines to your photo, remember to think outside the corner.

    2. Avoid Using Too Many Diagonal Lines

    In photography, diagonal lines can provide a sense of movement and dynamism. They can also add interest and depth to an otherwise flat composition. However, it is important to use diagonal lines sparingly, as too many can quickly become visually overwhelming. When composing a photograph, look for natural lines in the scene.

    Trees, buildings, and telephone lines can all create strong diagonal lines. You can also use leading lines to guide the eye toward a specific point in the frame. If you are shooting a scene with many diagonals, try switching to your telephoto lens and see if that helps.

    3. Combine Diagonals and Straight Lines to Create Points of Interest

    photo of architecture with both diagonal lines and straight lines

    Photo by Jehyun Sung on Unsplash

    Lines are a basic element of photography and can be used to create various effects. One way to use lines is to create points of interest by combining diagonals and straight lines. This can be done by framing a subject with two diagonal lines, such as the edge of a building or a line of trees. The eye will naturally be drawn to the intersection of these lines, creating a focal point for the image.

    This technique can be especially effective when there are few other elements in the frame to compete for attention. Another way to use this approach is to place the subject off-center so that the viewer's gaze is led toward it by a series of converging lines.

    4. Search for Patterns

    In photography, patterns can be a powerful compositional tool, especially when used to create diagonal lines. Diagonal lines convey a sense of movement and energy and can be used to lead the eye through a frame. When looking for patterns that can be used to create diagonal lines, try to find repeating shapes or lines that echo each other.

    For example, a row of trees might have branches that criss-cross similarly, or a set of stairs might have a repeating pattern of risers and treads. By finding these kinds of patterns, you can use them to create dynamic compositions that are both eye-catching and easy to understand.

    6 Tips for Diagonal Lines Photography

    Below are a few tips to help you make the most of this powerful compositional tool:

    photo of forest with diagonal leading line

    Photo by Ryan Searle on Unsplash

    1. Use Diagonals as Leading Lines

    Leading lines are a compositional tool that can guide the viewer's eye through a frame. They can be used to point toward a specific subject or area of interest and can help to create a sense of depth and movement in an image. When using leading lines, it is often helpful to place the subject off-center so that the viewer's gaze is drawn toward it. This can be done by using a variety of elements, such as fences, roads, or rows of trees.

    2. Observe the Rules of Photography Composition

    These guidelines can help you create balanced and eye-catching compositions. One of the most important composition rules is the rule of thirds. This rule states that an image should be divided into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. The subject should then be placed at one of the intersections of these lines. This placement will often create a more pleasing and dynamic composition than if the matter were placed in the center of the frame.

    3. Make Images More Lively

    Diagonal lines can help to add interest and movement to an otherwise static image. If you are shooting a scene that is relatively calm and quiet, look for diagonal lines that can be used to add some life to the composition. This could include anything from power lines to a line of trees. By adding these kinds of elements, you can create images that are more dynamic and interesting to look at.

    photo of vast land with one obvious diagonal line

    Photo by Ivan Bandura on Unsplash

    4. Make Diagonal Lines With Shadows

    Shadows can be a great way to add interest to an image and can also be used to create diagonal lines. You can do this by placing the subject in a position where it is backlit by the sun. This will cause the subject to cast a shadow on the ground, which can then be used as a leading line. Another way to use shadows to create diagonal lines is to shoot during the golden hour. This is the time just after sunrise or before sunset when the sun is low in the sky.

    5. Use the Dutch Angle

    The Dutch angle is a photography technique that involves tilting the camera to one side so that the horizon line is no longer level. This can create a sense of unease or disorientation and can be used to add drama to an image.

    6. Use Rectilinear Forms

    Rectilinear forms are shapes that have straight sides, such as squares and rectangles. You can use these forms to create diagonal lines in photography, especially when they are placed at an angle to the frame. You can add interest and movement to an otherwise static image using these forms.


    Diagonal lines can create tension, movement, and depth in a photograph. They can also add visual interest and lead the viewer's eye around the frame. Understanding how diagonal lines work and using them in your diagonal lines photography can create more interesting and engaging images.