Saturday, September 19, 2009

Composition part 4: leading lines

The fourth in a series on basic composition rules to further enhance the quality of your photographs if you are not aware of them yet - the first one, dealing with the rule of thirds, can be found here, the second one, dealing with the background choice, can be found here, the third one, dealing with framing within the frame, can be found here. I am using an article on the site Amateur Snapper as a guideline here, but providing examples from my own stream. One of the most important tools in defining a good composition is the concept of leading lines. When we look at a photo our eye is naturally drawn along lines, so we can use these to guide the eye to the main subject. Lines can be literal lines but also more abstract lines. Take the example above (Photographer in action). The main focus of attention in this shot should naturally be on the photographer's face and camera (which on purpose are located within the frame according to the rule of thirds). There are three natural leading lines towards this main subject: the top of the small wall to his back, both from left and from right, and more subtly, his right leg which automatically directs the eye from the left bottom corner to the subject.