Use S Curves in Your Photographs

Dunes, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
Sand Dunes, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico


The S curve is one of my favorite photography composition techniques. You have to train your eye to find them, but once you do, you’ll see them everywhere. Some examples are winding rivers, roads and the beautiful curves of a woman.

In this image of White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, I used the shadow line of the sand dune for my S curve. I took this image about a hour before sunset, the magic hour, so I would be able to capture all the detail and texture in the sand.

The S curve composition has been used successfully in artwork for thousands of years. The beauty of this compositional technique is that it leads your eyes from the foreground to the background of your image. But my favorite reason for using S curves, is that they tend to have a soothing, relaxing, even zen effect on the viewer.

Kenny’s Tip: “Use S Curves in Your Photographs.”

  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Lens: EF 70-200mm f/4 IS USM
  • Focal Length: 82mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Exposure: 1/20 Second at f/22

2 thoughts on “Use S Curves in Your Photographs

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