A leading line is a compositional technique that draws the viewer's eye into the subject matter of the image. The line(s) guide the eye through the image to the focal point. Sometimes a leading line can be very direct - a road, railway track or shoreline. At other times they can be softer and more subtle.
Leading lines can originate from anywhere in the image, but most often they start at the bottom of the frame and work up towards the subject. Leading lines play an important role to:
In the next set of images the leading lines are very obvious, created by the lines in the sand on the left or the pathway on the right. The image on the left, after drawing the viewer into the images also to the destination of the traveler.
As well as leading the eye into the images, leading lines can guide the eye through the image. In both of the following photos the eye once led into the image is taken on a visual journey.
Leading lines are also an excellent way of adding depth and perspective while focusing the eye on the subject of importance in the frame. In the following images the eye is led to the lighthouse on the left, and the setting sun on the right.
Using leading lines as a key compositional technique in your image can help you improve your photography or painting, and help you tell your unique story.
Thought for the Day
"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work." Emile Zola
Eric David is a visual artist / fine art photographer that lives and works in Toronto.