Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Leading lines

I was browsing through some of the images I brought back from my recent weekend in Paris and it struck me how often I rely on a tried and tested compositional tool. As I looked through my images, it was obvious that my eye is naturally drawn to subjects that benefit from the principle of leading lines. The image below is a classic example of this simple principle. In this image, the eye is naturally drawn to the end of the avenue by the lines formed by the trunks of the poplars and the converging lines formed by the tree tops. It almost doesn't matter what the subject is, by using lines to bring the eye to the desired location always seems to form a pleasing image. In order to exagerate this effect, the end of the avenue also sits in a good compositional position

Leading lines once again perform an important role in the structure and dynamic of the image below. The convergence of the lines of the floor tiles combined with the centres of the arches and their columns, serve to draw the eyes to the statue in the alcove at the end.

Leading lines are a really powerful tool and they don't have to be straight. The image below isn't a favourite by any stretch of the imagination, however it certainly shows how a curved line formed by the bank of the pool provides a strong leading line

If you take a look at the post before this one, I've even framed the example image to take advantage of strong leading lines. The more images I look at, the more I realise how much i look for this sort of structure unconciously.

Keep a look out for examples when ever you're taking pictures; pathways, fences, piers, coast lines and many other simple structures can provide great lines that really bring an image to life.