Examples of Leading Lines and How to Use Them

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The proper use of leading lines means composing an image where a line leads to the subject of interest.  It’s not as simple as just including any old line you see.  Lines in photographs can lead a viewers interest away from the subject of interest if you aren’t careful.  Here are a few examples of different types of leading lines.

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Multiple Leading Lines

The row of street lights as well as the lines in the cement lead the viewers eyes to the two ghost like figures walking off in the distance.

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The Overt Leading Line

Here is an obvious line made by the railing that directs the viewers eyes directly to the three pine trees.

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Subdued Leading Line

Not all lines need to jump out and bite your face off.  Some lines, like the scattered rocks that lead up to the beach house, are more subdued and still lead the viewer’s eye to your subject.  The rocks in the foreground were used to emphasize, and frame, the rocks that lead to the house.

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Curved Lines

The rocks in the photo above form a slight curve towards the water fall next to the mill which draws the viewer’s eye to the prettier of the two waterfalls.  If the large waterfall to the left was your intended subject then this would be a good example of a leading line that took the viewer’s attention away from your main subject.  Lines that form an S work well if you’d like to draw your viewer’s attention through a photograph along multiple points of interest.

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Light Lines

Lines don’t have to be obvious lines either, light reflections can create strong leading lines as well. 


Do you have some great examples of leading lines?  Share them here by clicking on the Submit an Article link.

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