Jun 05

Leading Lines in Photography

Leading Lines in Photography

Another popular compositional rule that you’ll learn about in a photography class is leading lines. The idea is that using lines in a photograph, whether they be natural or man-made, can lead the viewer’s eyes to a certain point or subject and therefore make the photograph more interesting. Leading lines can be used in any art form such as films and paintings, not just photography, and are widely used. Below is an example of leading lines in photography:


Notice how the leading lines guide the viewer’s eyes towards the sky and horizon, which is considered to be the focal point of this photograph. This sky would not be near as interesting if the road was not leading to it. If you do not see the leading lines, I have outlined the direction of viewing below:


Just like another compositional rule known as the rule of thirds (see here to learn about rule of thirds), this is not necessarily a “rule,” but is more of a guideline. Most photographs are interesting enough without leading lines, but keep in mind that when you see them that they can make for quite an amazing picture. Also, keep in mind that leading lines do not have to be front and center like my examples. They can be from the side, at different angles, and even different kinds of lines (curvy, straight, etc.). Once you understand the idea of leading lines, experiment with different lines, angles, subjects, etc.!  I have included more examples of leading lines below.


Wooden bridge in Belize.


Road into the mountainside in Washington state.


Tree covered pathway at the Arboretum Dallas.

I want to see your pictures! Email them to me at visionsphotographybyashley@gmail.com or link to them in the comments box below and I might even post them on my page! :)

~ Ashley


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