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.

Digital Photography Principles – Center of Interest

Good pictures are not created by chance. One has to be equipped with basic principles of composition. The arrangement of the elements in a picture can be influenced to catch the attention of the viewers. When taking a photo, you need to consider the position of each and every element in the picture.

One very important skill in photography is called “center of interest.” Centering involves placing the subject in the center of the frame. It is not necessarily that the subjects to be exactly centered. Some subjects which are centered can still use the rule of thirds.

Why use the principle of center of interest?

Here are the reasons why every photographer should apply “center of interest” in their photography work:

To draw attention to the subject

For you to draw attention in an effective way to the point of interest, try centering, especially when the composition is busy and when there are many similar objects that compete for attention. This is because eyes will always go straight to the center stage of the image. Centering different and strong subjects helps draw attention too. 
Also, when there are few items in the composition, you can place the object at the center of the image. If you want to take photographs of stand-alone objects without showing the background and foreground and the subject filling the frame, centering will focus on the subject itself and help toward the overall aesthetics of the final product.

To create a sense of space or size

In order to create a sense of space and size, centering can be used. When a subject surrounded by either smaller or larger objects is centered, the size of the subject is emphasized. For example, if a house photographed in the middle of a big pasture area, a sense of ‘smallness’ is created.


Centering can as well be used to create a sense of belonging to a space or a sense of loss. If you photograph a child surrounded by many toys, you create an atmosphere where the child belongs to space which is around them. Equally, if you photograph a child surrounded by toys and a small empty space around the child before the toys , a sense of loss and separation is created. 
In both pictures, the child is the center of attention. The blank space in the second image would be centered with the child as it becomes part of the center of attention and the barrier to the toys.

To overcome location difficulties

Some subjects or backgrounds/foregrounds will not allow you to compose according to the golden ratio or rule of thirds. In some instances, the only photograph you can take is a centered one.


In other cases, the background or foreground objects may be distracting or when an element to the side of subject intrudes on the image and the subject is not centered. When such events occur, you should center the subject. 

A centered subject commands more positive attention than a subject with a lamppost behind his/her head.

Related References

Photography – How To Create Quality Landscape Photographs

Moraine Lake Sunrise Colorful Landscape
Moraine Lake Sunrise Colorful Landscape

How Can You Create Quality Landscape Photographs?

Today, landscape photography is very popular, perhaps more than ever before. If you think about it, you can probably remember seeing at least two landscape prints that you felt connected and drawn to. Photography can be an art form and more than just a pretty picture; Landscape photography is a message you want to convey to your audience, whether is it is the beauty, the devastation, a historical perspective or an emotion, it is your message.  Now, if you specialize in landscape photography, you may think that capturing a great image is simple. But, there’s more to it than simply aiming a camera and taking a photo. You need to pay attention to detail, and make sure that you have great lighting, and properly place the subject you are photographing. It’s also important that you have the right equipment to aid you in your pursuit of photography.

Black And White Landscape Photography

With black and white landscape photography capturing an amazing image is even more challenging than if you were taking color pictures. With color taken out of the equation, you are forced to focus on lighting and shadows more, which can be challenging. The composition is also very important; you need to pay attention to how you frame an image and look at edges, textures, and tones that you see. The goal is to get your camera to capture an image in black and white that looks like what your eye would see in color.

If you choose to try your hand at black and white photography, you should try to focus on capturing images of buildings and water, since these are the most common subjects for this type of photography. Pay attention to highlights and shadows, as well as the angle from which you take the picture. When photographing water, water can  provide an excellent contrast to trees and rocks, which helps to capture the eye of the viewer. Another great technique is to take photos of landmarks such as buildings and bridges to help draw the viewer in.

Color Landscape Photography

Paying close attention to contrast is essential with color landscape photography. While color gives an image a more vibrant look, it also makes it harder to achieve the contrast you need to create an interesting image. For example, if you are taking a picture of water under a blue sky, there probably won’t be enough contrast to interest people looking at the image. But, if you take a picture of water under a sunrise or sunset when the sky is bathed is reds and oranges, you are more likely to get a much better image. Remember that you need to take your time, set up properly, and take multiple pictures to ensure you have choices, that accidents destroy or cause to lose the composition of your picture.  

Position is important

As it happens, I have more than once found the best picture of a landscape or other subject was not the one I originally intended to take.  By taking multiple pictures from different positions, vertical angles, and lighting perspective, a person sometimes gets a far better picture or series of pictures than a carefully planned and choreographed approach.  

Lighting For Landscape Photography

A landscape photographer depends upon natural lighting rather than artificial lighting, which means you will have to adapt to your subject since you won’t be able to alter or control the lighting. Filters can be used to achieve some specific effects.  For best result use of a professional grade camera and tripod is recommended.  Other things to consider where lighting is a concerned are:

Desert Dune In Partial Shadow
Desert Dune In Partial Shadow

Use of shadow

Taking advantage of shadows can add a lot of character to our landscape shots. However, it will take some patience, and you will have to leverage what mother nature has to offer. In the case of a landscape photographer, we have to work with the shadows that are provided by the angle of the sun, other objects in the landscape, such as mountains, trees, and clouds. Whether only partial shading is involved or perhaps complete shading of one object in the non-shading of the remainder of the landscape, shadows can add a significant amount of contrast or pictures.

Forest With Golden Autumn Colors
Forest With Golden Autumn Colors

Use Of Seasonality

Seasonality, can add character in a number of ways. First, is the simple color of the changes that occur in certain parts of the world and fall and spring and winter and even the nature of what is there to offer such as snow cover. Also, the sons lighting tends to change across the season’s fall, and autumn may have yellow were sunlight then Midsummer. Working with what the seasons provide the same landscape can look stark if it happens to be a deciduous forest in winter, glossy bright this new snowfall warm hot and dry and Midsummer heat. So, there are reasons that even the same landscape character can change in just a few weeks and therefore, it doesn’t hurt to return to the same landscape multiple times to take advantage of the change in character.

Forest With Sunrise In Background
Forest With Sunrise In Background

Use Of Time

Time is also important to a landscape photographer, both from the perspective of the time of day; morning, noon, evening, night, dawn or dusk. But there is also another characteristic of time, which can be very useful when taking landscape pictures, which is time-lapse photography. Time-lapse photography provides a character to landscape photos in certain circumstances. In those instances where you have movement in the environment, such as running water, windblown leaves, branches waving in the wind, shadow movements across time, and others, time last photography can add character which no other approach can. Time-lapse photography is also a very good reason a high-quality camera and perhaps most of all a tripod.

Conclusion

With some planning and by honing your skills you can become a masterful landscape photographer  But, you have to remember that the small LCD screen you are looking at won’t show you everything that will show up in a final print. Always take more than one picture from different perspectives to provide more opportunity to have high-quality pictures to choose from and use or sale.  Just remember nobody is born a great photographer.  To achieve mastery takes, study,practice, a smidgen  of talent, a passion, and perseverance.

The First Rule of Photograph

The First Rule of Photograph

The first rule of photography is that “Any picture Worth taking, is work taking more than one picture of.”

Why should you take more than one picture?

There are many very good reasons, but here are a few which come to mind immediately:

  • The first picture may be the quality you expected—blurry or darker than wanted, etc.,
  • The picture you thought you wanted, may not be the one you end up using,
  • By varying your position on the target of your photography, may provide you with pictures, which may be useful for other reasons,
  • If like me you are not the best photographer on earth, carefully and thoughtfully taking more pictures, can be more forgiving than risking everything one photograph,
  • And in an age of digital photography why not? Once you get back to the office or home, you can put them up on the computer and then decide, which to keep for future use.

Related References

Blogging – What is a Pinnable Blog Picture?

What is a Pinnable Blog Picture
What is a Pinnable Blog Picture

Whether you are just starting with blogging or have been doing it for years, you must know by know that images are critical elements of your posts. Online we are focused on visuals. The text comes second. How can this simple insight help you to drive more traffic to your blog? Just by filling it up with loads of cat pictures?

Well, not quite. The magic word is Pinterest.

But how can a scrapbook page for girls planning their perfect wedding and grandmas who love flower arrangements help you to increase your monthly amount of visitors?

We will show you!

How pinnable images can help you to drive traffic to your blog

First of all, you need to have excellent content that gives value to your reader. Without that, nobody will stick around. Even the best Pinterest viral campaign won’t bring you anything more than a one time visitors.

Having said that, once your content is fantastic and you have a pinned image going viral, then prepare yourself for some interesting times ahead!

Because of the nature of the platform, images on Pinterest are really ‘spreadable’; when people like an image on Pinterest, they are eager to share it. In fact, a pin is 100 times more spreadable than an average tweet! Also, the lifespan of a pin is quite long: Around one week. Compare that with content on Twitter (24 minutes) or Facebook (90 minutes).

The trick is to have a really good image on your blog and make this pinnable, which means that it can be found and shared on Pinterest.

We will give some good tips on what kind of creative content works well on Pinterest.

What is a good image for Pinterest?

And image which works well on Pinterest should be of the right size, because 80% of pinners view feeds on a mobile device, tall images work well. Try to go for an aspect ratio of 2:3 of 4:5.

Pro tip: A very long image takes more space on Pinterest, and is, therefore, harder to ignore.

Other than the right size, try also to incorporate the following aspects in your picture:

  • Avoid faces. Focus on things.
  • Use fresh and vibrant colors.
  • Give your images a colorful background with context related to the subject.
  • Try to put some red in your pictures. Red appears to increase the change on repins!

Depending on your graphic design skills, you can make all your Pinterest content yourself. You can use photography and photo editing software to develop the content.

If you are not so tech savvy, then there are loads of easy to use apps which can help you in creating amazing Pinterest pictures. You can also ask you creative cousin or a graphic design hero to help you out.

It is good to realize that you need to have a potential market on Pinterest for this method to succeed. If none of your target audience uses the platform, then it will be hard to gain traction. However, if you see that your subject is already represented there, then you have enormous opportunities for growing your traffic!

So go ahead: create killer content on your blog, add a beautiful image and make it Pinnable. With enough dedication and hard work, you will see your traffic increasing.