This week’s dPS challenge is Leading Line; another in the compositional set of themes. A browse through an art history textbook was surprising. The artists of old used line very creatively in the arrangement objects, but there weren’t many examples where an obvious line from the edge of the frame was used as a means of pulling the viewer into the image. In pondering the use of a leading line, I had to resist the idea of it being a bit kitsch.
I did find two. Turner’s Rain, Steam and Speed is dominated by a strong diagonal from the bottom right corner that draws the viewer in … on a collision course with the oncoming steam train.
The second example you can see in my submission for this week. Munch,’s The Scream is iconicly repeated across many of today’s visual media. There must be a tea towel somewhere with this image on it.
I fell in love with this painting when I first saw it – in reproduction, of course. Identifying with the image was easy. The leading line wants to take us onwards, to somewhere. Others are already there. But our journey is disrupted by the figure who seems more distressed than surprised. How many of our aims and goals are disrupted? How much of life flows smoothly?
The use of leading lines in photos is probably not kitsch after all. Instead, to many of us the ease of access implied by the leading line seems an untrue representation of how the world actually works.
On the technical front, and in keeping with the compositional nature of the theme, I decided that if a leading line is the viewer’s pathway into an image, then I wanted the pathway to represent something. I choose my glasses to be that line. By sitting them on a book about art, on a page that includes both images and explanatory text, my aim is to signify reflection, understanding and the pursuit of knowledge.
Finally, an opportunity to use the tripod and fixed 50mm lens recently purchased in response to earlier challenges.