Working with Leading Lines

Today’s project was to shoot some images with Leading Lines.  Leading Lines are a compositional element of photography where the photographer uses existing lines – made made or natural – to draw the viewer’s eye into the photo. Examples can include roads, trails, railroad tracks, rivers, etc. Leading Lines can help direct the viewer’s gaze into the photograph, rather than just at the photograph. When well executed, they can help to draw the viewer in and hold our attention.

The weather was kinda crappy, so I stuck with my 24-70 today (mostly because I didn’t want to switch lenses in the rainy weather). 24-70 is a relatively “normal” lens, meaning that the lens reproduces the world through the viewfinder similar to how we would see it without the camera. Another trip out is definitely needed with a longer lens to experiment with how lens compression changes leading lines and creates new ones.

patiently_waiting

In this photo, the leading line is the edge of the skating rink towards my subject, the children. It was a nice touch that the Zamboni driver was also looking down towards the children. Location: Kitchener City Hall

It’s SUPER easy to miss an opportunity to use leading lines. Purposefully shooting with this in mind this afternoon was tougher than I thought. Finding the lines isn’t too hard, but using them to effectively compose a kick-ass photo is definitely harder. The best advice I have for future me is to circle my subject, both high and low, to find the best angle and leading lines.

In this photo, the leading lines are the parking lines leading towards the new Google building under construction. I also took this photo for posterity as DTK changes rapidly from sketchy sketchtown to Innovation District and the main hub for the ION light rail station. Location: King and Victoria.

In this photo, the leading lines are the parking lines leading towards the new Google building under construction. I also took this photo for posterity as DTK changes rapidly from sketchy sketchtown to Innovation District and the main hub for the ION light rail station. Location: King and Victoria.

In the Tannery Building at the top of this post, the leading lines are the guard rail and the fire escape on the building itself. For this photo, I attempted to connect one continuous line from the left of the image all the way through to the top right. The signage on the building also provides a route for the eyes to be drawn from the stairs back to the left of the photo. Location: Charles and Water.

Here are some more examples of Leading Lines from the archives:

Cologne Dom Koln Hohenzollernbrücke und Dom, Cologne Germany. 2014.

Koln Hohenzollernbrücke und Dom, Cologne Germany

Wifey and Bella

Victoria Park, Kitchener, ON

Victoria Park Kitchener

Victoria Park, Kitchener, ON

DuBois, PA

DuBois, PA

Darin White says:

Love the meta discussion, Cam.

DW