How to Turn Straight Lines in Your Photography into Art

August 21, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

While going through my closet the other day, I noticed a collection of tops with striped patterns. They're so similar, yet each has its unique appeal, whether it's the colour of the stripes, the width of the lines or spacing of the stripes, or the angles at which the lines run - most are horizontal, some run vertically and a few have diagonal stripes!  Then, opening my photo portfolio, I found a collection of images with orthogonal patterns (or lines at 90 degree right angles to each other). Just as fashion designers add accessories or vary the patterns to enhance the universal appeal of stripes, how can you turn these regular, plain straight lines (which are so prevalent in our build world) in your images into art? 

One way is to convert the image to black and white, and then adjust its tonality and contrast to make it pop. In this example below, the adjustments made in post-processing highlighted the central space in the building's new addition, while showcasing reflections in the glass on the left and the historical brick structure on the right. 

Matrix of New and Old *Matrix of New and Old *This historical building with a modern addition is representative of Barcelona, where there's a mixture of traditional and contemporary architecture.


Another method is to combine the lines with other elements such as interesting patterns and colours. Here the patterned lines of a building's reflection are paired with strong diagonals and shimmering details (part of a staircase and decor inside the building) to create an urban graphic design. The pastel colour palette also works well with the geometric patterns.

Urban Graphic Design *Urban Graphic Design *Architectural elements work together to create this urban graphic design.


In the example below, the rhythm of wine bottle placement on the shelf adds variety to the orthogonal pattern's black lines, making a great abstract that resembles an abacus. The glowing golden light in the background further adds to the artwork.

Modern AbacusModern AbacusThis wine rack filled with glass bottles is like a modern-day version of an abacus.


Try these techniques and see what results you can get with line patterns! For more details about use of art design elements in photography, please see my previous post here



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