Teresa Pilcher Photography

Shooting with Intent

“Words are not that important, when you recognize intentions.” ― Isabel Allende

There is often something that is undefinable, in a strong image. The images that stay with me have that ‘It’ factor. So can we define the undefinable??.. There are a lot of images that flood our social networks, I believe that there is one element that separates a good image from the crowd. That is the intent of the Photographer or Artist.

They say an image is worth a thousand words.. Now, often the title may give us a clue to their intention. However a strong photograph will not need words to describe the photographers intention, it will be evident. The image may have a combination of elements, be it light, subject or composition. If we concentrate on one element at a time, then our images will become more intentional. I still work intuitively but the intention needs to be clear. What is the subject and what I am trying to convey.

Leading Lines is the most common element used at Street. They direct our eye exactly where we want the viewer to look. They can be real or implied. Diagonal lines are strongest, followed by vertical, then horizontal. Using them creatively is the challenge so our images do not look static or staged.

The leading lines draws our eye straight to the subject by using the diagonal lines created by the street, railing and the lights. It leaves no doubt to the subject of this image. The vertical lines of the building frame him and there is sufficient natural contrast to make him stand out from the background.

The curved line leads from the bottom right corner directly to the subject.  Again the vertical lines of the building frames him. I enjoy that he is stepping across the line at the decisive moment. These lines can be accentuated in post processing.

In this final image, the leading line is both actual and suggested. They are created by the street and by the repeating motif of the balls leading directly to the subject.

So effects can be subtle or they can be obvious. By using Leading Lines with intent, they will become more evident in your work.


Any Thoughts?


Teresa Pilcher

Teresa Pilcher Photography A Blog on Street Photography


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