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Composition - Leading Lines

December 31, 2008 - Dave Hecei
Another compositional technique you can use in creating better photographs is to use leading lines. These can be straight, diagonal, or S-curves. The dramatic use of leading lines should draw the viewer into the image. For best results, these leading lines should bring your eye to the main subject, or subjects, in the photograph.

There are some helpful tips in getting the best out of your leading lines.

1. Lines should either lead you to the subject or out of the scene.

2. Never cut off a part of an S-curve, this is a distraction.

3. Some leading lines should be shot horizontally, some vertically, let the lines decide what is best. If in doubt, shoot both ways.

4. Try to shoot straight lines on a diagonal. Straight lines can work in some instances, but they can sometimes be more stagnant or boring. Change your angle of view, don't just tilt the camera, you still want the horizon level.

5. Wide-angle lenses are ideal for scenics with leading lines.

6. If possible, choose leading lines that convey motion or that energize a scene. Try not to have long horizontal lines parallel to the top and bottom of the frame.


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