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Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge: Week #8 Diagonal Lines

banner-compose-yourself-challengeCee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge (CCY) will be a combination weekly “tips and tricks” combined with a photo challenge.  

To find out who was awarded the Gold Star Award and Features for this week, please see CCY Week 7 – Gold Star Award and Features for Vertical Lines (Leading Lines).

To find out more how to enter this challenge check CCY Home page.

This week’s CCY Theme is Diagonal Lines.


There really is not a lot to say about diagonal lines except they appear to be more dynamic.  Depending on the type of diagonal line you have, it can add tension to your image. In addition to this, diagonals can serve the same purposes as horizontal and vertical lines in that they can guide the eye, and act as frames for a specific area of the photo.  Diagonal lines can be placed in any direction in your photo.

Another fun thing about diagonal lines is you can break the horizontal and vertical rules.  Sometimes you can really create an art piece by making an item run diagonally.  Just make sure that your photo makes sense.  No water running off the edges of your photo, please.

Here are some of my photos to get your started, and hopefully spark some ideas.

The ripples in the water are soft diagonals going in one direction while the tree limb and the birds go in another direction.  That tree limb and its passengers make a strong diagonal line.  Remember what I said about no water running off the edges of the photo?  That rule doesn’t count because the picture is all water.


This poor old boat looks like it has been thrown up on the shore by a fierce storm, doesn’t it?  There are diagonal lines going every which way.  Look at the fence in the upper right.  There are diagonal lines going in two directions.  The boat has its own set of diagonal lines, three of them, in fact.  There are so many diagonal lines in this photo that your eye bounces around, adding tension to the view.


The cable makes a strong diagonal line, but otherwise there isn’t anything too remarkable about this photo.


How is this for dramatic?  I’ve cropped it and darkened the background to black.  Now the diagonal line dominates the picture.  You see strength, and lots of it.  The rust shows strength that’s been in place and working for many years.


Isn’t she a beauty?  Lots of diagonal lines in this shot, starting with the lines in the grill and air intakes on the hood.  The lines of the door frame echo those on the hood.  All of them are intersected by the pin-striping running from the upper left to the lower right, being continued by the line made at the top of the truck bed.  There is lots of implied movement in this shot because of the diagonal lines.


This gorgeous piano has strong diagonal lines created by the body of the instrument and the musical score running in one direction while the keys and the edges of the book create lines running in the opposite direction.


This is a good example of an implied diagonal line, formed as your eye follows the woman’s hand down from the upper left and continuing through the pigeon’s beak, neck and body.  It works well with the leading vertical line, which is balanced out by the emptiness of the upper right portion of the picture.

112315diagonal_6I hope you enjoyed the examples of how you can use diagonal lines in your photography.  I promised you an easy week because I know you’ve been working very hard up until now.  Hopefully this will be easier.

Your Turn

I would like to see at least 4-6 photos of diagonal lines.  It can be a mixture of actual diagonal lines or artistically created diagonal lines, like my lady with the pigeon.

Extra credit for Gold Star Award

5-gold-starsThis should be real easy.  Let’s review what we have done so far. Add a couple of your favorite photos you’ve entered for any of the previous CCY challenges.  Please tell us which topic they were entered into.

 – OR –

Since this is Thanksgiving week in the United States, you may enter a couple of photos that show things you are grateful for.  Anyone in the world can join along in this exercise, not just those from the United States.

Current Series – All About Lines

The Next Series – The Rule of Thirds

  • Week #9 Right or Left 1/3 of your photo frame
  • Week #10 Top or Bottom 1/3 of your photo frame
  • Week #11 Using 2/3 of your photo frame
  • Week #12 Critique My Work – I will give show you a couple of photos and you can either copy them and correct the compositional errors or write a post about how I got things wrong or right.

Qi (energy) hugs


59 replies »

  1. The difference between the distant and close-up of the cable is amazing! Thank you for sharing this. I’ve always been unsure of diagonal lines in my photos.


    • Thanks so much Trisha for your comment. I don’t use it often either, but when you find strong diagonal lines they are fun to play with. Most of mine diagonals are more leading lines, but they still count.


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