What Is An S Curve In Photography

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The Southward curve is not a feature of photography alone, y’all’ll see it featured heavily in all forms of art going back a long time. In this sense S curve photography is not new, information technology’south simply following an established limerick technique that’s already proven to be constructive.

And so, what’s S curve photography and how do you exercise it?

Information technology’s a lot easier than you lot may think…

Using S curves in posing is very flattering when photography women.

What’s meant by an S curve in photography?

The S in Due south bend describes the shape of the curve, or line in a photo. It’southward that simple, and therefore like shooting fish in a barrel to meet. All types of photography use S curves, for example:

  • Landscape photography
  • Product photography
  • Portrait photography
  • Street photography

Although nosotros also talk about creating an S curve when adjusting the tone curve in post processing and that’south likewise in the shape of an South. However, when we talk about an Due south bend in an prototype, it’s always about the shape of the curve/line.

S curve shape for posing

S curves tin can be found in nature:

  • Meandering river
  • Wavy line of the tide sweeping upwardly the beach earlier information technology soaks into the sand
  • A flamingo’s bent cervix

They tin be human fabricated:

  • Roads, dirt tracks and paths
  • A line of products laid out in an due south curve shape
  • A wobbly line drawn in the sand

I oftentimes use fabric to create curved leading lines for portrait photography.

Creating curved lines in photography

Above, I held one of the material just below the camera and the model held the other cease. The wind did the rest of the piece of work to create the curve.

Beneath, the model flicked the cloth as she created her pose. Equally I used a fast shutter speed, the movement was frozen to create the blackness S curve of the material, her leotard and dark shadow behind her straight leg.

Creating curves in photography

Below, the model’s husband flicked the material on my cue and let it go. A fan about the model’due south feet blowing upward to the fabric helped to give it a bit of pinnacle and kept it aloft for a second longer. My shutter speed was 1/250, which was fast enough, considering I used flash to freeze the movement.

Further reading: Getting started with off camera wink

How to create curved leading lines

What are leading lines in photography?

Because our eyes follow lines, when you lot incorporate a line, or lines, in an image you’ll draw in your viewer and concur their attention for longer.

When lines lead to the focal bespeak of the paradigm, they’re called leading lines. In this sense they’re lines that human activity like arrows maxim “Here! Wait over here!”. They brand it very easy for the viewer to understand what’s really important in the image.

Sometimes leading lines also lead the viewer out of the image, after taking them on a journeying to the focal point.

Leading lines tin exist actual, definite lines, like:

  • Painted lines in the road
  • Railings
  • A person’s limbs
  • A waterfall

They can too be implied lines, similar:

  • The line created by a row of trees
  • A streak of calorie-free
  • Or a person’s gaze

These are all directly leading lines and they have the viewer direct to the focal point.

Farther reading:

How to use leading lines for awesome photography composition

7 types of lines in photography composition and how to employ them

Using s curves for leading lines in photos

Why apply curved lines in photography composition?

A curved leading line takes the viewer on a less directly route to the subject, and then it slows the journey down and encourages the viewer to roam through the prototype.

Imagine you’re in a raft going down a direct river. It’due south a faster journey than if you lot’re meandering down a river with curves. Merely the await of a winding river makes us feel more relaxed than a direct river, which we’d expect to have a few exciting rapids to go belting through.

Non all curves in photography are S curves, merely the S curve is considered a particularly powerful curve to include in an epitome, because information technology:

  • Engages and holds the viewer’s attention for longer
  • Adds a sense of movement to an prototype
  • Tin be used to carve up the composition of an image into different sections
  • Adds visual depth to a scene
  • Can pb a viewer into or out of the scene
  • Can start anywhere in an image – top, lesser or sides

Naturally occurring curves in photography

How to use the Due south bend in photography

There are two ways to use Due south curves in photography:

  • subtly
  • blatantly

Subtle South curve composition

When using an S curve as a leading line, make sure that it’southward a subtle South curve so that it doesn’t demand too much attention. Its job is to lead the viewer to the bailiwick, non to exist the subject of the photo.

Breathy S curve composition

When the photograph is all about the Due south curve, information technology needs to be strong so that information technology grabs attending and holds the viewer’south eye. The bend shouldn’t be interrupted as this will pause the viewer’s journey.

Bated from rivers, examples in landscape photography include dunes, mountains and roads.

Posing with the s curve in mind

In portrait photography you tin can create strong Due south shape curves through posing, particularly when posing women.

An S curve in female portrait photography is a very flattering shape as information technology accentuates the natural curves of a adult female. Information technology tin exist used to:

  • Emphasize a adult female’s shape
  • Create shape for slimmer women
  • Minimize curves for naturally curvy women

Farther reading:
Female person poses – ix tips for photographing women

Posing women using s curve composition

S curve photography determination

You’ll be amazed how many south curves are around you when you start looking. And so, when assessing a location for a shoot, get your s curve goggles on and have a look if at that place are any southward curve lines that would make adept leading lines in the image. Or, is there a really stiff S curve that you could frame as a stand up alone image in itself?

And when photographing women, e’er bear the S curve in mind for flattering poses.

How to find s curves for photography

Get out a annotate

If you have any questions about S curve photography composition, permit u.s. know in the comments.

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