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
I've always been fascinated by construction projects. The creative mess is like an art project, while it's in progress it's chaos. This was the time of the "Battle of St. Clair" with widely differing opinions on the benefit of the project.
The construction project involved multiple phases. These photos were taken during the St. Clair redevelopment from Bathurst to Gunns Road. Although a considerable mess at the time, the rejuvenation of the street has provided some positive benefits with new businesses moving into the area, increased ridership, and new condo developments along St. Clair.
Why show these images in monochrome rather than in colour? Although I like the colour photos, I thought the black and white images showed the textures better and rather than distracting the eye helps the viewer to focus on the structure and patterns in the image. Do you agree?
Thought for the day
Sometimes people think they need to be in a special location to be inspired. I find that going for an extended walk, wherever you may be, can help you get inspired. That's certainly what I found while taking an extended walk along St. Clair during the construction project.
Eric David is a visual artist / fine art photographer that lives and works in Toronto.