Exercise: Implied Lines

An implied line is a line in an image which isn't actually there but is created in the mind of the viewer. For example, we might imagine a line between two or more points where no line really exists; it may be the extrapolation of an actual line to make it lead or point somewhere; it may be an 'eye-line', a line imagined between the eye of a viewer within the image and the subject of the viewing (which may or may not be in the image) or it could be the extrapolation of movement such as an imaginary line visualised where a person may be walking.

Copyright Michael Freeman. From the Art of Photography course material. In this image of a bullfight, the main implied line, I feel, is the movement of the bull across the front of the matador. There is also the eye-line of the matador as he follows the bull's movement.

Copyright Michael Freeman. From the Art of Photography course material.

In this image of a bullfight, the main implied line, I feel, is the movement of the bull across the front of the matador. There is also the eye-line of the matador as he follows the bull's movement.

In the image above, both horse's watch the man, who shares an eye-line. There is also the implied line of movement across the image from left to right.

In the image above, both horse's watch the man, who shares an eye-line. There is also the implied line of movement across the image from left to right.

Here both the handrail and the curving supports, lead the eye to the man in the top left of the image.

The image above contains an example of the eye-line. The subject appears to be the in-focus dog at the rear, but if we follow the gaze of both dogs we see the tennis ball perched on top of the tree. How on earth did it get there?