Photography Composition Using Leading Lines

What Is The Leading Lines Composition Rule?

Leading lines is one of the simplest but powerful photography technique used to create meaningful compositions, drawing viewers into your picture or towards the subject you would like to highlight.

Taking advantage of leading lines is a great way to keep viewers from wandering because the human brain is hardwired to naturally follow lines. With these lines, you can easily create a wow-factor to your photos, leaving a strong impression on your viewers. 

Well, leading lines typically start at the bottom of a frame and will run upwards and inwards, connecting the foreground to the background. They can help tell a story, draw a connection between two objects, and place emphasis.

What’s more, the lines can also impact the photo’s real sense of emotion. They come in different types: horizontal, vertical, diagonal, curved, converging, and implied lines. Each can be used to convey different moods and emotions.

How to Apply the Leading Lines Rule in Photography Composition

Identifying leading lines

First off, you need to learn how to spot the leading lines. It’s a fairly simple step since this type of photography composition element can be found about everywhere in the natural and man-made settings.

Some of the common examples of leading lines include roads, paths, boardwalks, pavements, walls, fences, hedges, rails, rivers, bridges, shorelines, cliffs, buildings, trees, and lamp posts.

The main challenge for most photographers is to remember to look for the leading lines. But once you develop the habit of spotting them, incorporating them intelligently in your photographs to guide the viewers’ eyes towards something becomes a lot easier.

Use leading lines to enhance your photography

There are several ways you can use leading lines to enhance your photography composition. Well, let’s find out below.

• Create a sense of depth and perspective

Once you’ve identified a strong leading line, you can position it in a way that a connection originates from the foreground to the background of the scene. 

For example, leading lines on road scenes can add depth as well as dimensionality to your photography composition, enhancing the effectiveness of drawing viewers.

• Lead the viewer to key points of interest

You can achieve this simply by placing the main subject at a point where lines converge. However, pay attention to the starting point of the lines in your composition. Otherwise, viewers might be led out of the scene. 

Lines can emerge from the corners. Or as mentioned earlier, you can arrange them to emanate from the bottom of the frame, leading to the elements in the photo. 

• Create exciting cyclical compositions

The aim is to lead your viewer’s eyes in a circular motion around the frame without letting them out of it. A good example is taking a shot up a spiral staircase or a meandering river. However, you should avoid featuring strong horizontal lines because they can interrupt the visual flow, and lead eyes out of the frame.

• Create a visual journey

Leading lines can also be used to give viewers direction from one part of your photo to another.

Creativity is the key to getting the most of photography composition leading lines. If used correctly, it can help grab viewers attention and have them explore your photograph.