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Use the reference objects to take the photos you want

When people talk about composition in pictures, they typically discuss compositional aids like the Rule of Thirds. This is an easy guideline that photographers of all levels utilize since it’s a great method of arranging the components of your photo as well as make instant changes to your photograph. It works with each image.

Why would you need to choose anything else? Some photographers prefer taking their photos a step further for impact by adding other ways. Leading lines is among the most frequently used tools because they can increase the impact of scale and effect and draw viewers into your photos.

What are the leading lines of photography?
Leading lines are components within the frame, usually such as a wall or railroad tracks. They draw the attention of viewers and draw attention away towards the background.

As leading lines typically appear bigger in the foreground as opposed to the background, they provide the additional advantage of providing an image with the illusion of distance as well as the scale.

Wide-angle lenses are especially useful in shooting leading lines, as the ‘line’ you are shooting will appear bigger in the foreground, than it appears in the background. It gives a dramatic perception of depth and size.

Tips to use leading lines in your photography
What is an effective leading line for photography? The art of finding leading lines within the frame doesn’t require particular abilities. It’s all you have to do is remain patient and take the time to examine the frame to see what immediately grabs your attention. The most common examples of the leading lines used for photography are:

Train tracks
Waterways and rivers
Road markings and stripes
Air trails / clouds
Lines of trees
Trails of traffic
Hallways / corridors
Formations of rock
Cliff Tops

Here are a few instances. Any thing can be an effective leading line. You could, for instance, create a portrait of a group during a wedding, with people in the picture forming a line that leads toward the couple. For instance, a flash of lightning caught within a short time could draw your attention across the frame towards the lighthouse behind which is where the lightning strikes.

Better question is what are you unable to do to create a leading line? There’s an abundance of things that be used to create leading lines when photographing. It’s all about recognizing that something could make a prominent line within the frame, and then structuring the image in a way that highlights the line.

What is the best way to place your leading line inside the frame
Important to note that just locating something linear does not make an effective leading line. The ‘leading line’ needs to be placed in a proper position with respect to your main object and extend out to the left of the subject.

The leading line will not produce the intended impact of drawing a viewers eye through the frame, if it extends away from the sides of the frame, since the eye of the viewer will leave the frame.

The leading line should be able to create a connection among the diverse elements in the scene. The link could be straight, or it may zigzag be a serpentine into the scene.

For framing your leading line properly to frame your leading line correctly, you must walk around the scene until you’ve found the perfect line that is aligned between the chosen principal line and your object. If you’ve shot an image with a forced perspective (e.g. those iconic shots of people balancing on their own Leaning Tower of Pisa) it’s the same process. It requires a bit of trial and failure.

By using physical leading lines that are not physically present
Physical lines such as train tracks and roads are among the most evident types of lines to help draw viewers into an image. But it is also possible to create connections between the elements with implied lines.

What’s implied in a line? Imagine a photo of a person looking in the foreground left at the Eiffel tower in the background to the right. The line of sight is created through the direction that this eye’s focus within the frame.

The impact of this by taking two copies of a photo. It is a common practice to do this when shooting images of landscapes.

Take one shot of a subject standing in front of the camera, and another shot with the person looking at my primary object. Another version is shot of the subject looking directly at me.

When a person’s eyes are directed toward the camera, the photo is more like an outdoor portrait, and our attention is drawn towards the face of the person. While they are looking at their surroundings but an outline is drawn from their eyes toward the horizontal horizon (or an object that they are looking at) and then our eyes move exactly in that direction.

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