We are now about halfway through learning about composition.  I put special effort into simplifying everything so there is no photography mumbo jumbo big words for you to remember.  Just as your photos should be simple in composition, I’ve composed this course in easy to understand terms.

The secret, if there is a secret is practice, practice, practice, and more practice.  I promise you the more effort and time you put into mastering these simple techniques, the better your photo composition will be.

Now, the next rule of composition – Leading Lines.  One of my favourite techniques.

A poorly composed photograph can leave your viewers unsure where to look.  Their attention might drift aimlessly around the scene in a photo without ever finding a clear focal point.  The viewer doesn’t know where to look.

How can you fix this?  You can use lines to control the way people’s eyes move around a picture.  Yes, lines.

Lines are going to be present in your work no matter what you do, so it’s all about taking control of them so that they serve the purpose of leading a viewer into your photograph.

The next time you are out with your camera, take a look around you first.  Are there any lines or paths that your eye naturally follows to lead you to the main subject?  If so, you should consider backing up from your subject to include them.  A line can be anything your eye will follow.  

Leading lines can be roads, lines of cropped grass, anything repetitive, buildings going up, a row of flowers, a wall,  – anything that guides the eye to the focus of your photos.

Lines can also be implied by the direction a person looks.  We call these eye lines and they are leading lines.  When people look at one another or at something, that can draw interest to the subject or at the very least help the viewer’s eye to move around the frame and to the subject in your photo.

Why are leading lines important?  Well, it is almost impossible for eyes not to follow a line pulling you right into an image.  To be effective as a photographer, you want to engage your audience.  You want them to step right into your photograph and feel as if they are part of your scene.

To reinforce our leading lines discussion, consider reading this comprehensive article about the importance of
Leading Lines in Photography.

Next week we’ll have a look at some examples of leading lines used in photographs.  Pay close attention and see if you notice how the lines lead your eye to a particular point in the photograph.

In the meantime, download this free PDF that shows and explains examples of leading lines in photo composition.

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