Diagonal lines are pleasing to the eye and make pictures more interesting. That's it!!! Short and simple!! As you compose your picture, look to include natural diagonal lines, or see if you can create or emphasize one or more by changing your point of view, or the placement of your subject, or where you are standing, or the orientation of your camera. Study the following photos:
It is more interesting to look at the fence dividing this scene as a diagonal element rather than if it were in a straight horizontal line. The soft diagonal lines of the background hills also add interest.
Notice the diagonal line of the lanterns is complimented by the shape of the building in the background. I could have taken this shot with the lanterns in more of a horizontal line, but moved to where they were in a diagonal line because it looked more interesting to me.
I wanted to add emphasis to this quirky little store so I made sure there were no straight lines. Even the lens flare forms a diagonal, although that was not planned.
And last, the diagonal fence and tree line visually lead to the subjects in this engagement photo of Dalin and Emily. (So does the lighting and the bicycle facing in their direction.)
While the kids are napping, pick up your camera and compose a picture in your home that shows a definite diagonal line. Now set a timer for 15 minutes and see how many photos you can take showing diagonal lines. They can be natural, or compositions you create. How many can you come up with in 15 minutes??? Here's a simple one to get you thinking: Take 5 pieces of fruit, place them in a straight line on top of a colorful tablecloth on your kitchen table, then photograph them from all different angles. (Be careful to simplify your background.) Then see which angles make the most interesting pictures. I'll show you mine tomorrow, and if anyone is brave enough to email me your best shot, I'll post those too!
P.S. If you are interested in looking back at past "Tech Talk Tuesdays" I've listed them on the right sidebar so you can click rather than spend time searching.