Leading lines 

When someone looks at a photo, their eye is naturally drawn along lines. By thinking about how you place lines in your composition, you can affect the way viewers look at the image.

Do you want to pull the viewer into the picture, or towards the subject? Or are you trying to take the viewer on a journey 'through' a scene?

There are many different types of line: straight, diagonal, curvy, zigzag, or radial lines. All can be used to achieve different effects and enhance a photo's composition.

Image without leading lines
Boat sheds, Michael Hall, 2010.
Boat sheds, Michael Hall, 2010.

Image with leading lines
Boat sheds, Michael Hall, 2010.
Boat sheds, Michael Hall, 2010.


See how Brake has used leading lines in these two images:

 

Jordanian soldiers parading for the visit of King Hussein of Jordan, Bethlehem, West Bank 1958, Brake, Brian (1927–1988), Israel. Gift of Mr Raymond Wai-Man Lau, 2001. Te Papa
Jordanian soldiers parading for the visit of King Hussein of Jordan, Bethlehem, West Bank 1958, Brake, Brian (1927–1988), Israel. Gift of Mr Raymond Wai-Man Lau, 2001. Te Papa
Roman road from Antioch to Beroea (now Antakya, Turkey and Aleppo, Syria), near Aleppo. From a series on the Roman Empire for 'Life' circa 1965, Brake, Brian (1927–1988), Aleppo. Gift of Mr Raymond Wai-Man Lau, 2001. Te Papa
Roman road from Antioch to Beroea (now Antakya, Turkey and Aleppo, Syria), near Aleppo. From a series on the Roman Empire for 'Life' circa 1965, Brake, Brian (1927–1988), Aleppo. Gift of Mr Raymond Wai-Man Lau, 2001. Te Papa