Saturday, September 4, 2010

Photography Tip: Leading Lines


Ladies and Gentlemen, the answer to the $64,000 question is:

This is a Leading Line. It has nothing to do with photography but, if it got you to look a little closer at my Photography Tip today, it worked. It’s a little trick you can use in your photographic technique, too.

While you’re composing a shot:

Look around and find some lines to draw attention to your subject. They don’t even have to be straight lines. Anything in the scene that can be captured and lead the viewer’s eye from the corner of the frame towards the subject is fair game. Sometimes it’s a curved or crooked line, like a branch, the shoreline, a curve in the road or, the paint on a basketball court.

Some examples of straight lines used in pointing towards a subject are handrails, railroad tracks, the roof of a house, edge of a sidewalk, even the crease in someone’s shirtsleeve. The diagonal line of the sail on a boat, a tent or the white lines painted in a parking lot can be used to point from a corner of your photo to the subject. The lines don’t even have to reach all the way to the corner just use them to help the subject say, “Hey, I’m over here. Look at me”!

Use it to your advantage.

Every scene doesn’t require leading lines. You wouldn’t want to use something that will overwhelm your subject. Something as bright as the international orange of a traffic cone, probably wouldn’t work well as a leading line for a fair-skinned lady; unless it’s the traffic cone you want to draw attention to. Look around and if you do find something that compliments the photo compose it into your photo. In your travel photos, give Leading Lines a try. You’ll start noticing a depth to your pictures which makes you feel you could walk right into the scene.

Give Leading Lines a try next time you’re out snapping photos. You might come home with a $64,000 photo.

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