Leading lines can play a major part in photography. Usually, they are used to lead the viewer’s eye somewhere into the picture. A harbor that leads you out to sea. The middle line of a curved road that leads you off into the forest. We have all seen fantastic displays of leading lines in photography.
Today, I want us to think past the obvious. I want you to realize that leading lines are everywhere including nature.
In this first photo (on the trail that we hike, bike, or run down almost daily) I wanted to give you a visual of interest using leading lines. While the first picture is not shabby, it really yields no interest in incorporating a leading line; the leading line takes you to the obvious.
In the second photo, the leading line of the trail brings the viewer through the picture, almost yielding movement in the photo. While you can see where the trail leads, the exact location is not quite discernible giving way to a bit of mystery. This photo also incorporates a second leading line that is not as obvious but also takes the eye to the same distant location… notice the line of leaves just under the tree line. Both lines cause the eye to move in the same direction which imparts more value and concreteness to the leading lines.
But, a leading line is not always created by the blunt presences of an object pointing the way. Sometimes it is just a matter of camera rotation. In the first photo, you have a feathering plant, leaves flayed in the sun.
However, with a simple rotation of the camera you now have a yellow finger pointing the way to a lush abundant forest beckoning to your adventurous spirit.
In this third set… you have the first shot with the stem connected to the berries. The eye is directed toward the berries in a direct measure.
In the second photo, the leading lines of the stems are framing the berries bringing the viewers eyes to the berries in a discrete manner.
And, in these final two photos, the second photo tells more of a story. The shoes are kicked off, pointing out towards where the run happened.