Here’s a quick tip for making your photos more appealing: Leading Lines.

A leading line is a feature within a photograph, either natural or man made, that creates a line from the bottom of the shot moving upward toward the subject. The addition of this to draw the viewers eye into a photograph is a great tool.

When composing a shot, take a moment and see if there is anything that can be used as a leading line. Items like paths, long shadows, natural features and such work very well. The line should begin at or near the bottom of the shot and work its way toward the top – preferably near the main subject. Diagonal lines are sharp and dynamic while curved lines are smooth and graceful.

Today’s featured capture is an example of a smooth and flowing leading line. I captured this winding mountain road just outside of Idyllwild California. While the double yellow line does not lead to a particular ‘subject’, it does create depth to the photo.

In another example of this technique (below), I used the natural feature of a patch of turquoise ice as a leading line. The brightly colored strip draws the viewer’s focus into the lake and ultimately to the snow covered mountains.

Frozen Lakeshore

I find that the use of leading lines improves my shots. Give it a try and see how it works for you.

Road: Canon 30D, Canon 24-105 f/4L IS lens – 1/500 second, f/10, ISO 100
Ice: Canon 30D, Canon 24-105 f/4L IS lens – 1/80 second, f/16, ISO 100