A creative way to use leading lines to make your images more exciting and meaningful.
Leading the way
All around us are lines. They are literally everywhere. And as a photographer, when you know how to use them to your advantage, you can really make your photos more fun and more interesting.
Get to the point
As the name suggests, leading lines are lines that lead the viewer’s attention to an area of the photograph. Not only are leading lines a tangible element of photos, but their use is also considered a composition technique and can be used to direct your viewer’s attention. And of course, you want that area to be your main point of interest.
Why use them
Not only do leading lines look cool, they also:
- Make your image stronger
- They’re pleasing to viewer – guiding them where to look
- They give image more visual impact!
How to use them?
Most importantly, begin noticing lines and where they lead! It can take a little practice to begin seeing how lines lead to different objects, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a lot of fun.
- First, observe your scene and find an interesting subject. Look for ONE point of interest here, either a person or an object, or even something like a sunrise/sunset or a storm cloud.
- Next, observe the surrounding area and look for lines that lead or point to the subject.
- Then, experiment with various positions to see which composition will work best. Get high then low. Move close then step back. Shift right then left. See what looks best as you move around the area.
- Look for the best composition that keeps your subject in a meaningful place in the frame. Be sure to remove distractions. Sometimes just moving a foot or two can make all the difference. Nobody likes a pole sticking out of their head after all!
- Lastly, notice the light and come back at a different time of day if needed.
Quick tip: Don’t sweep your viewer straight out of the scene by placing your subject in the wrong place. Make sure the lines lead TO the subject and not past it.
Photo BootCamp Magazine
Check out how the Bootcamp members have learned to use leading lines in their photographs and let’s also take a look at some members who are featured in this month’s magazine.
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Alternatively if you have a slower connection you can view this magazine Here on ISSUU.
Below is a small sample of what’s in this magazine…
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Inside BootCamp Magazine
Here’s our featured artist of the month, Denis O’Byrne, from Ireland. Denis took this photo just before Christmas in the early morning, just as the light was starting to appear. It’s been a popular image in the Bootcamp with many comments from the members.
Comment: Rodney Charlton – “Denis, a nice photo. I can follow the curved driveway edges and also the horizontal lines of the hotel, which all appear to direct my eye to the first floor arch window – also well composed and positioned on the top and right thirds. I suspect that window has only clear glass but with some soft lighting inside giving it an orange glow to highlight it. At least that is what I see. I like it.”
Next on the list is our featured cover image for the magazine by Nick Ellis from Australia. Let’s see what he has to say about his image and the feedback from one of our members.
Description: Nick Ellis “A St Andrews Cross Spider – female. Common to the eastern seaboard of Australia. The web is (was) just outside our back door, in a (supposedly) dwarf camellia. I watched the development of the web over a few days and took this before my wife engaged in anti-spider behavior! I tried to get an angle that didn’t include the blue sky at top left, but given my house wall proximity and neighbours I had to settle for this.”
Comment: Gina Skinner – “Jeepers creepers, Nick! The image of this spider is so sharp you can count the hairs on it’s legs, the bumps on it’s bum, it’s beady eyes…and are those FANGS?! or just another pair of (extra short) legs? The leading lines of the web draw the eye directly to the POI. Really good capture!”
Then we have one from our very active member Gina Skinner. She was struggling a bit with which image to submit after learning so much from the Bootcamp members. So many options! She took many photos of this windmill, trying to get just the right one. She was challenged by access to it due to an active creel making its way to the Pacific Ocean, but finally got what she was after. This photo received many comments as well.
Comment: Brent Mail – “The thing that stands out in this image for me is that amazing this sky in the background. Like how you used analogous colours (next to each other on the colour wheel – blues, greens and yellows) in your image too. Yes I can see you their leading lines from the mountain range as well as the leading lines from the base of at Windmill leading up to the blades. Great composition leaving more space on the left! I also like how the blades are blurred, giving us a sense of motion. Great work.”
So there you have it! Those are just a few of the awesome images from the community.
Check out the complete BootCamp Magazine to see what the other members have created.
- Leading lines are everywhere.
- Learn how to use them to your advantage.
- Make your photographs stronger and more impactful.
- Have a lot of fun leading your viewers on a journey through an image.
- Get creative and, as always, experiment and play as you learn.
Did you enjoy this article? Check out these related articles, too:
- Isolating a Monolith using Long Exposure
How A Neutral Density Filter Can Be Used To Isolate Your Point Of Interest And Tell Your Story
- Give Your Photos a One-Two Punch Using Framing
Learn to use a powerful composition technique to make your subjects stand out!
- Make an Impact Using the Rule of Thirds
One simple rule of composition to take your photos from blah to great!
Do This Now
Dive into BootCamp, join the community and become one of the many amazing and creative members today.
Share your thoughts with me in the comments section below. I love hearing what you guys come up with!