Curvy Photographs

Rocks and reflections along the shore of Tenaya Lake, Yosemite NP, CA, USA

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

Reflections along the Tuolumne River, Yosemite NP, CA, USA

Reeds and cloud reflections, Inyo NF, CA, USA

Creek in National Canyon, Grand Canyon NP, AZ, USA

Sand dune, Mesquite Flat Dunes, Death Valley NP, CA, USA

Swirling mist, El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite NP, CA, USA

Rainbow and sunbeam over Mono Lake, CA, USA

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.

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