One of my favorite ways to utilize composition to make a big impact in my photos is through the use of leading lines. Leading lines are any kind of lines that are present in your photo that draw your viewer’s eyes to a specific part of the frame, most often the subject of the photo. When you know how to use leading lines appropriately, they can really add a fun and interesting element to your images!
Why Are Lines Important?
Impact. Leading lines can make a strong visual impact in your images. When you know how to use leading lines, you can create a wow-factor to your photos that leaves a strong impression on the viewer.
Depth. I love how leading lines can add depth to an images by leading the eye through the entire photograph, or even just through the part of an image you want your viewers eye to travel. By using leading lines, you can illustrate distance and perspective in a way that an ordinary photo cannot.
Focus. Leading lines are a great tool to help the viewer focus where you want them to. Not only can you guide their eye through the image like we discussed above, but you can direct their eye to the exact point of attention.
How to Use Leading Lines
There are so many ways to use leading lines in your images, so I decided to include several examples for you! In this image by Cole Joseph Photography, the lines of the pier lead your eye from the front of the photo, right to the back where the couple is standing. You get the impact of your eye traveling through the depth of the image, as well as being led right to the subject. The lines of the horizon add to the impact by framing the couple and pointing right to them at the center point.
This image from Melissa McClure Photography is a stunning example of using lines to your advantage. There are so many lines in this setting that Melissa was able to use to perfectly showcase her clients. From the railings leading up from the bottom, the railings on each side, the lines of the ceiling, and the lines of the overhead light fixture, this image has a huge impact because of the use of lines in the composition.
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In this image of a bride and her bridesmaids by Simple Joy Portraits, the road they are walking on provides great visual lines for the viewer and the trees that flank each side add lines as well. The lines prompt your eyes to travel the image and add a great sense of depth and direction to a great image.
Lines can be used in our everyday images as well. I love this example from Lisa J Photography. The use of lines in this photo add interest to the photo and provide a sense of movement and depth as the boy plays with his car.
Lines are everywhere, and know that you know how to use leading lines to improve your photos, challenge yourself to start looking for lines. Experiment with using them to add impact to your photos!