How leading lines improve your photos

Photographs are effectively two–dimensional flat objects, but by using leading lines, you can add a lot of perspective to images. It helps with photo composition and takes the viewer on a visual journey, allowing their minds to wander deeper.

The good news is that there are no real rules when it comes to lines in photography. Numerous pictures break the rules and the results are still spectacular. So play around with different perspectives and see how deliberately adding leading lines could improve your work.

Leading Lines

Leading lines can be a great way to draw eyes to the subject in the photo. In this instance, lines from the opposite end of the picture allow the attention to be placed on the elephant. The trees also frame the subject.

 

Here are some reasons why leading lines can improve your photos:

Leads the eye to the subject

Instead of just placing a subject in your image, leading lines is a great tool to help the viewer focus on what you want. It is almost like using force, but in a nice way.  Using lines is also one of the easiest ways to incorporate the rule of thirds into your photos without trying, leading to better photo composition.

Leading Lines

In this photo, the walkway was used to lead the eye into the distance towards the beautifully coloured sky. A normal photo of a sunset without the walkway would not have had the same effect. It also assists with the photo composition.

Creating depth or symmetry

Instead of just capturing that flat image with some vegetation in the foreground and the sea as background, why not use a bridge or walkway to lead viewers towards the sea? Not only does this allow for extra depth, but it is also a good way to add symmetry. Usually the rules of composition states that one should not centre objects in your photo, but in this case the rule can be broken. This method will work best if your lines start from the corners of a photo.

Leading Lines

Are you curious to see what is at the end of this road? The curved pathway as well the wall running symmetrically with it is a way to use leading lines to create suspense.

 

Creates distance in photos

Using lines such as pathways and roads is a great method to lead ones eye into the distance. It creates depth that might not have been there previously and allow the image to lead the viewer’s eye through the image, or part of an image into the distance.

Leading Lines

In this photo, the walkway was used to lead the eye into the distance towards the beautifully coloured sky. A normal photo of a sunset without the walkway would not have had the same effect. It also assists with the photo composition.

 

Using leading lines to create suspense

If your lines lead somewhere into the distance and curve around a corner, viewers might just spend more time looking at your work. This is because you create suspense in their minds as they wonder where the pathway or road is heading. What is around that corner?

Leading Lines

Are you curious to see what is at the end of this road? The curved pathway as well the wall running symmetrically with it is a way to use leading lines to create suspense.

 

Using lines differently

Lines are not always so obvious, but can add extra depth to any photo, especially with objects of different distances from the camera. Instead of zooming in on a subject such as a boat on the water, take a step back. If you include an interesting foreground object, like floating birds floating, or people swimming towards the boat, it can still lead the viewer’s eye to a distant subject.

Look around you, there are lines everywhere, from pathways, shorelines, roads, rock formations, boardwalks, clouds, shadows, trees and even the horizon itself. Whether you use these lines vertically, horizontally or diagonally, it is a great way to compose the picture and transform it from ordinary to extraordinary

Leading Lines

Leading lines can be used vertically, horizontally or diagonally.