When looking at any good photography our eye should be naturally drawn along “lines” that will ideally pull our attention throughout all aspects of the photograph without becoming stalled in any point in the image for too long. By thinking about how you place these leading lines in your composition, you can affect the way the viewer sees your image, pulling them into the photograph; towards the subject, or on a continual journey throughout the scene. There are various different types of lines that can be applied in your photography – straight, diagonal, curvy, zigzag, radial etc – each of which can be used to enhance your photographic composition.
Take for example this photograph that I took of the Badlands in Cheltenham, Ontario. As you can see your eye is immediately pulled from the foreground of the image all the way up to the upper third where you find yourself among the trees surrounded by the sky.
Here is another example of leading lines in this photograph that I took of a Ladybug on the shoreline of a beach. Your eye is initially drawn into the image by the large white rock in the foreground with a small ladybug on top. Shortly after you are pulled from the left to the right and back to the left yet again by following the rocks along the shoreline.
As you can see, using “leading lines” in the composition of your photography is an excellent technique that you can easily apply to draw the attention of your viewers throughout your image in the most impactful way possible thus creating a more dynamic and memorable image. It may take some practice to “train your eye” to see these natural leading lines when searching for that perfect frame for your next subject but once you learn to see the leading lines, you will begin to naturally apply them in your photography without even thinking about it.