I really like curved lines. I was reminded of this last weekend when my friend Mike Osborne showed me some of his junkyard abstracts on his iPad. All the photographs were wonderful and imaginative, but the ones I liked best often had curves. And many of my own favorite photographs have curves too. Curves look organic, and sensuous, and add a certain visual flow to a photograph that’s hard to generate without them.
Finding strong, curved lines isn’t always easy, but you’ll see more if you actively look for them. Some people see faces everywhere – in rocks, clouds, trees, and so on. They’ve trained themselves to search for faces, so they find them. You can do the same thing with curves. Try walking around a park or some other natural place and looking for curved lines. You probably won’t see many at first, but the more you look, the more you’ll see. Before long you’ll start finding curves everywhere.
Another way to train yourself to see curves is to look for them in photographs. Here’s a small portfolio of curvy images to get you started.
— Michael Frye
Related Posts: Nice Curves; The Power of Diagonals
Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author or principal photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite, Yosemite Meditations, Yosemite Meditations for Women, Yosemite Meditations for Adventurers, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters. He has also written three eBooks: Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, Exposure for Outdoor Photography, and Landscapes in Lightroom: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. Michael has written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.
Great photos, and I’ll now be in search of curves.
Thanks Alyn – that’s great!
These are really wonderful, Michael.
And something like ‘Reeds and Reflections’ may have inspired Paul Klee.
Or maybe the other way around! Although I think of those lines as being more Matisse than Klee.
I’ll put examples on the actual pic of what they reminded me of. One is Klee and another his contemporary, Miro, who’s probably closer. Whatever, the form, shape, movement tickles me and I love how it’s suspended above the reflections.
Beautiful images, Michael! They are very elegant.
I never thought much about curves in a river or such but I will be looking now all the time. These are wonderful michael!!
Thanks Cindy, and I’m glad you found that helpful.
A beautiful series. I love curvy lines too!
Wow, you have great eyes. Some of these subjects are pretty obvious while others require a well trained eye. Really beautiful.
Thank you Ralph! My eyes are well-trained to look for designs and patterns. I think design is more important than subject.