In my last session, I talked about when it is okay to center your subject. Today's session is about a technique that helps center a subject or bring focus to it. Using leading lines to improve drama and composition, is one of my favorite techniques. The lines don't have to be straight, they just have to draw your eye in one direction or another. This image has two kinds of leading lines, both straight and curved. The straight line leads your eye to the subject, my husband, then your eye continues on to the curved line following the landscape. It creates more drama.
Side note: A curve is not a line, if we are talking geometry. Or is a curve a line, that is not straight? Wait, maybe a line is the only curve that is 0 degrees? Now I've gone off on a tangent. (A straight line or plane that touches a curve or curved surface at a point, but if extended does not cross it at that point.)
Anyway.....check out a less dramatic version of the above image without the curved leading lines.
Not the same, is it?
Below is an example of many lines leading your eye to converge on the subject, in essence, pointing to it.
The length of the lines leading from the front of the frame to almost the center of the image, create drama. The subtle lines in the water, and the clouds, along with the dark horizon line, bring your eye to the center where there is a small dog looking out into the big scene. I love the contrast, small dog, big world..
The dog was my white Miniature Schnauzer named Sprite, who has since gone on to dog heaven.
In the above image, the sneakers, the rose's stem and edges of the floor boards, all form converging lines pointing to the shredded rose petals. The scene conveys some type of teen boyfriend drama. Truth be told, my daughter left her sneakers in the middle of the floor, and the dog somehow got the rose off of the table and attacked it. I like the boyfriend drama story better, it make for a more emotional photo.
The railings form leading line to the subject of this photo, me!
Here are some more examples of photos with leading lines. I love using open doors to invite the viewer to want to look on the other side of it. Your eyes move to it. The sunlight spilling in between the hinged part of the door, also creates lines that draw the eye.
Again, an open door causing a leading line that invites the viewer in. Kind of like you're peeking in somewhere you shouldn't. The stream of toilet paper also leads you in. I did a closer crop of the same picture below, to show the difference the impact of including the door and long stream of paper, makes.
It just doesn't have the same story telling effect. By the way, this carnage was actually done by the cat, not the dog this time.
I like this photo but..........
This one tells a much different story. The table, the water bottles, and the people all form the lines leading to the subject and you get more of a feel for what was going on.
Here are some more examples of photos with leading lines.
Bye for now, until the next lesson. Writing on leading lines lead me to think about my next topic. So check back on a later date for session 4 of Ford's photography Classroom.
After 31 years of teaching, I have decided to retire and start a new chapter of my life as a photographer. It has been my passion for about 7 years now.