Remember when I said that we all know what we like when we see it but we don't always know why. Well, through the years I've began to pay attention to what I like and figure out why. One of the common threads is the presence of diagonals. Diagonal lines, diagonal compositions, diagonal orientation of subject matter, textures, background, etc. It's a "thing" with me. I swear I can thumb through my portfolio and point out one after the next after the next. Now, you don't always plan for a diagonal in your shot. At least I know I don't. But, I'm noticing it's become a subconscious habit. I shoot for the diagonal. Bizarre, I know. Even if it's not your "thing", there are ways you can begin to create it for yourself by a some observation and a little flick of the wrist. Instead of shooting your subject strait up and down you orient them in the frame at just a slight tilt. Just enough to make capture the image in a way that may feel a little unexpected. As far as I'm concerned, unexpected is good. I think any subject you're capturing can be just that much more intriguing if there's a little unexpectedness (is that a word?) to it. The idea reminds me of a post I read about at a blog called destinations. Janeen (another Club blogger)was asking when photography was considered art. And I commented something about the capturing of something that's everyday with a little something unexpected. Don't you think that's true?? Doesn't it seem like when a photograph moves you it's when there is an element of uniqueness? Something perhaps that's been shown in a new way, a way that you've never seen or that intrigues you? I'm not saying you have to call it art, but I do. Because why the hell not. I can if I want to. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. But, I digress.
As far as making the diagonal work for you, I challenge you to try a few experiments. Once you take a picture the way you'd "normally" do it, try another shot. And tilt the camera at an angel, then shoot. See what happens and then let me know what you come up with. I'm dying to know what you think. Looky what Carol sent a few days ago. I just had to post it because her little digger is perfectly placed at the textbook diagonal. And look at that horizon. Another diagonal. LOVE IT! It's a great example of what I'm talking about. Now, I dare you to go diagnal!