The Dynamics of Diagonals

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I’ve found I have a strong preference for diagonals in my compositions, because of the zing they add to the image. Most of the time I look for existing diagonal lines in the scene, but sometimes I also make them by either tilting my camera a bit, or asking my subject to pose in a certain way. Diagonals also help break formality, as in this shot of young model Tsim Valencia, without detracting from the elegance she’s put into her sophisticated smile and gesture (really like the way that raised index finger works). Here’s another from the set shot over the black glass table, with an even greater tilt:


As I was framing this in the viewfinder I already knew I’d go for the square crop after. Square images seem to work really well with the 45 degree diagonal, probably because of the symmetry. Probably? Yup. I’m always observing and learning as I go along, it’s part of the fun of doing photography – and also because I’m still in search of a recognizable personal style. I just might be getting closer!

Photos were shot for the portfolio of Davao makeup artist Carine Bacani, with model Tsim Valencia and hair stylist Joshua. Thanks all, you were a great team (specially my wifey, who had to hand-hold the softbox for me so we could get the lighting we wanted over the glass table!).


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