ideas: horizontals and verticals

Horizontals and verticals

cartoon: a woman holding up a picture frame

Assignment idea

Understanding and control of the elements within a frame or format are essential to show competence in the field of photography.

There are many tyes of elements and a number of ways in which they may be combined. Here we are concentrating on one such set, one format, and a limited range of combinations.

The Brief

Using the 35mm full frame format, take as your subject purely horizontal and vertical lines. These lines are to be parallel to the frame edges. Use the horizon line wherever appropriate but try to avoid converging or perspective lines which create angles other than 90 degrees.

Human made subjects will probably offer the most fruitful material and keeping square to the subject will help to keep lines parallel.

Explore the relationship between such lines and corresponding shapes within the given format to produce a set of creatively constructed compositions.

Learning Objectives

  • To understand the relationship of line and shape within a given format.
  • To explore some elements of composition.


Two to six individual prints for display as a set.

See Mounting and display