Jul 28, 2014

Leading Lines

We are continuing our composition fun by talking about leading lines today. This one still tends to throw me for a loop on what is a leading line and what line apparently 'leads the viewer out of the picture'. Umm...that may be too artsy fartsy for me, so I will share what I understand about leading lines!

As you might assume, leading lines lead you to the subject of the photo. Your eye naturally follows lines thus the importance for them in terms of composition. This could be quite literal lines (ie paths, walkways, railings, etc) or a bit looser in the term (ie a row of people in movie theater seats, a line of bushes in the backyard, etc). So here are some examples of what I have found in my photos.

1. Thomas at the game: there is a line of seats leading up to where he is sitting.

2. The counter is a leading line over to the guys.

3. The lines of the railing, chairs, and the stairs are leading lines.

4. The shoreline of the lake is a leading line that leads us to Thomas and Brad.

5. I think John's arm is a leading diagonal line to the egg that he is handing to Thomas. Thomas' gaze is also leading line the photo.

6. The counter is a leading line to John. Maybe? A stretch? Not sure...

7. The path is a leading line, vanishing point and a curved line all wrapped up in one! This path is about as 'S' curved as I have in my batch of photos, but S curves add drama and impact to a photo.

8. The railing on the pier are vanishing points and lead to Thomas. Notice I centered him here since it is a pretty symmetrical photo. Vanishing points are like a path that seems to vanish towards the back of the photo since you can't see the end of the path.

9. I consider the ramp of the stand a leading line to our family. Again, maybe a stretch??

10. I submitted this photo for a class and was told the lines of the hats and lines of the gloves/hands are leading lines to Matty B. I will take it! :)

11. To me, their arms and gazes in the below picture lead to what they are looking at (a map).

12. The train tracks lead right up to Matthew. Note I took this picture from below which cuts out the background from being around Matthew's face!

13. The shoreline (FULL of sea weed!) leads us to Lilly and Tyler on the beach.

14. The edge of the fountain leads us to the kids playing.

15. The water is a leading line to John.

Leading lines of course aren't limited to people as subjects. This link has some wonderful examples of leading lines found just about anywhere.

YOUR challenge is to find leading lines as you practice taking photos. Post some of your favorites so we can ooh and aah over them!

Seasoned pros can challenge yourself to find leading lines in the world around you without adding in people or kiddos. Where can you find leading lines in nature, architecture, etc.? Let's see what you can find!

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