I remember reading about leading lines briefly early on in my photography journey. Basics like mastering manual exposure seemed more important so I forgot about it.
Earlier this year, I made a commitment to improve my photography. I knew how to take a well exposed photograph but I wanted to create something more. I wanted to create art.
I knew that I had to start being more purposeful when it came to composition. I started studying photos that I admired and realized that they looked so intentional. They were well composed and many of them used leading lines to really direct your eye to the subject.
Read more: Leading Lines-Composition
Whenever I was taking photos I started looking for ways to compose my image so that there was some kind of leading lines involved. This has become one of my favorite challenges. Since I have a two and four year old who never stand still and are always on the move I often have to get creative. I find myself running around them a lot and changing my angles to get the shot I want.
There are so many places to find great leading lines that you probably go everyday. I will take you through some of my favorite photos and go over the process I went through to get each shot.
The playground is an awesome place to find leading lines. This was a totally candid shot of my son. He loves to climb up the slide so when I saw him doing this I stood at the top of the play structure and waited until I could see him.
I love how all the lines are leading to him and how he is framed in the opening of the slide. As an added bonus, the light was amazing that evening and the light rays are also acting as leading lines.
Our neighborhood has long sidewalks that the kids love to ride their bikes down. I love how the lines of the sidewalk lead right to him. I crouched down to get this shot so that I was at his level.
I would have preferred if he were right in the middle of the sidewalk but it’s hard to direct a two year old to do that.
In the following photo the sidewalk is acting as leading lines as well as the chalk. The hopscotch drawing really directs your eyes to the cute little feet as the main subject of this photo.
I laid down on the ground to get this shot to emphasize her feet and the activity she was involved in.
- No.03Trees and Logs
In this shot the log that my son is sitting on is acting as the leading line right to him. For this photo I picked him up and placed him where I wanted him to be and he was happy to sit there for a couple of minutes pretend fishing while I took some photos.
In this photo I was crouched down pretty low on the ground so that I was on his level.
This is a photo of my daughter sitting in her carseat. I was outside of the car and all of the windows were down. I couched down to get the right angle.
The line from the side of the car on her side and the line of the window above her head do a good job of leading your eyes right to her.
- No.05Light and Shadows
In this photo I used light and shadows to create leading lines. My husband held a light outside of the crib bars and adjusted it until the light was just perfectly hitting his face.
Blinds provide fabulous leading lines. I have taken many of these photos because I love beautiful window light and I can usually ask my kids to tell me what they see while I take their photo.
Fences provide great leading lines as well. In this shot I got really close to the fence and crouched down low so I was on their level and I got some of the fence in the foreground.
Hopefully this will give you some ideas of how to incorporate leading lines more into your own photography. They can add visual interest, create depth, and make your subject really stand out.
Whenever I go somewhere new I am always looking for spots were I can use leading lines. It is always a fun challenge.