Leading Lines

Let’s regroup and get back to photography for a moment.

Leading lines in a photograph are usually intentional and are used as a basic tool of photographic composition. All pictures are made of lines. They convey depth in a scene and provide strength to the perspective of a photo. The lines can be vertical, horizontal and diagonal. There are no absolute rules, however lines can impart a different feeling to a photo based upon their direction and the intent of the photographer using them. It’s fun to play around with leading lines and include them as a tool to improve your photographs.

In the photo above, the lines are fairly obvious and lead your eyes down the length of the elevated track toward the skyscraper.

In this photo, the lines focus interest on the train. The leading lines allowed me to take a really tight shot from the platform and expand the perspective of the actual photograph. The detail in the track also provides additional interest for the eye.

There really isn’t anything complicated with this photographic rule. Have fun playing with it the next time you are out taking photos!


“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”

-Ansel Adams
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