Photo Composition Rules: Leading Lines

12006264_10205105670901575_1937414879299323323_nOne of the best ways to improve your photography and elevate your shots from snapshots to great shots is to improve the composition of your image. This can initially seem too much to think about on top of the technical stuff like shutter speeds, apertures and ISO values. However, if you slow down and try to apply one of the simple composition rules, you will see a vast improvement in your photography.

To this end I am posting a series of blogs about composition rules over the coming weeks, of which this is the first. If you’d like to participate in a more practical way, join the Love Your Lens Facebook group and take part in the Composition Challenge.

So, now to Leading Lines. Many photographs fail to direct the viewer’s eye, leaving us unsure of what we should be looking at or indeed why the photographer even took the shot in the first place. A simple way to guide the eye through a picture is to use leading lines. This creates a sense of depth with the lines usually drawing us in from the edge of the frame towards the subject, or from the foreground through to the background. The lines can lead the eye to the main subject, onto a secondary subject or perhaps just to infinity.

photography tips

composition tips

The more obvious lines are roads, paths and rivers, but they can be found all around us, in nature and in manmade elements.

photo composition

Even lines of text can lead the eye – in this instance to the postcards.

Using very shallow depth of field and precise focusing along with leading lines.

Using very shallow depth of field and precise focusing along with leading lines.

A good way to practise any composition technique is to put aside your SLR and photograph with your camera phone. This way your head isn’t filled with technical settings as most camera phones don’t have many settings or options. You just point and shoot… but with purpose!

Composition tips

In this shot taken on my HTC One phone, the brick wall leads the eye to Sam’s face. I used an app called Retro camera to add some drama to the shot.

I run courses and offer one to one tuition to beginners and improvers, so if you’d like help getting to grips with your camera then click on the links and take a look.

Did you like this blog post or find it useful? If so, please leave a comment, sign up for email reminders at the top of the page or share it with your friends (or even better, all three!!). Thank you – Jane :-)



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