Leading lines in photography

What are Leading lines in photography, anyway? Well, if in the antiquity all the roads were leading to Rome, in photography, they lead to the main subject of the picture 🙂

Canada Art Print featuring the photograph Canadian Winter Scene by Tatiana Travelways

The most common use of leading lines in photography are the roads and pathways

This one for instance, was a road glowing in the last rays of sun in Utah.

Wavy Art Print featuring the photograph Wavy, Glowing Country Road In Utah by Tatiana Travelways

In this case below, the lines of the bridge point to my husband approaching the exit. * I told him to walk to the end so I can take the shot – it was in Thunder-bay, Ontario 🙂

Bridge Art Print featuring the photograph Under The Blue Bridge by Tatiana Travelways

I actually also made a digitally painted version of it – I just love to play with my photos and give them a painterly look 🙂

When we look at a photo, our eyes instinctively follow the existing lines. That’s why a good composition is supposed to attract the viewer into the scene. I hope your eyes here are attracted not only to the Alhambra tower, but also to the city of Granada below.

Alhambra Art Print featuring the photograph Alhambra Tower by Tatiana Travelways

The street lines here lead to another historic building in Harlowton Montana. * I made the picture as a digital painting.

Harlowton Art Print featuring the photograph Harlowton Montana Historic Building - Painting by Tatiana Travelways

Leading lines in photography telling a story

But like frames, the lines in a composition also help to create an interaction between the elements. Often they can tell a story too, like in this picture of frozen hills in Palouse, Washington:

Frozen Art Print featuring the photograph Frozen Winter Hills by Tatiana Travelways

And lines (read roads) are meant to be crossed right? Aren’t these wild burros in Nevada so cute?

Burros Art Print featuring the photograph Crossing The Desert Road by Tatiana Travelways

Oh, these tourist intruding into to the wildlife habitat are terrible aren’t they! (Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada)

Tourists Art Print featuring the photograph Tourists Intrusion In Nature by Tatiana Travelways

Leading lines in photography created by other elements

Any lines that lead your eye to something of interest, are good leading lines. One photo I always liked is this one with the telescope pointing to the city of Monte Carlo – Monaco and the bay. It is part of my Monaco one day visit post also made with the Lens Artists in mind.

Monte Carlo Art Print featuring the photograph Monte Carlo, Monaco View Of The Bay And Harbor by Tatiana Travelways

On the other hand, it was not too difficult to notice this clock tower in Uberlingen, Germany with so many architectural lines pointing to it:

Uberlingen Art Print featuring the photograph Uberlingen Roofs by Tatiana Travelways

Natural elements can create leading lines too

Here is a scene on the beach of Ocean Shores in Washington – I love drift wood 🙂

Beach Art Print featuring the photograph Drift Wood On The Beach by Tatiana Travelways

The flowing water of the Kakabeca falls leads your eye right to the river below;

Kakabeka Falls Art Print featuring the photograph Kakabeca Falls 2 by Tatiana Travelways

… And finally, rocks, palm tree leaves and waves will conduct your view to the antique Mayan temple in Tulum, Mexico:

Tulum Art Print featuring the photograph Tulum Mayan Ruins Mexico #3 by Tatiana Travelways

I hope you enjoyed my examples of the leading lines in photography along my travels 🙂

Lens-Artists Challenge #80 – Leading Lines |

6 Comments on “Leading lines in photography”

  1. A nicely detailed article with plenty of examples of using leading lines to draw the viewer’s attention to the main subject. You can also use brighter areas to lead the eye as well – a bit of brightening and darkening to create a virtual pathway to your chosen subject and it is surprising how little you need to change the shades to get the effect you need.

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