Welcome to the photography “rule” of leading lines. As I mentioned in the December 6th blog, photography presentation rules like leading lines are more like guidelines than actual rules. And, yes, I did mean to include the terrible pun.  That being said, the leading lines idea is one of my favorite rules to use because they add so much depth to an image.

Let’s Get Started

Leading lines are lines used within an image to draw the viewer’s eye to a certain point (focal point), or occasionally, out of the image. Well-done leading lines make an image dynamic and powerful. They can add flow, structure, and/or visual interest to any photo’s subject. They can also be the subject of the photo. Fences, bridges, railing, even a shoreline can be a leading line. Anything can lead the eye with a definite line.

Let’s Break It Down

For examples of leading lines see the following links:

“Wed in Red”
In “Wed in Red” the curving line of the bride’s dress leads the viewer’s eye up to the image’s subject: the kissing couple.

The subtle line of rock and wave leads the viewer’s eye to the image’s focal point of the tapir’s soft face.

“Spike Curls”
The odd pattern made by the curling lines of this cactus is the image’s subject.

“Bleeding Purity”
The angled sides of the steeple lead the viewer’s eye to the subject of the white cross.

“Damsel Daintiness”
The wavy line of the flower petal leads the viewer’s eye to the damsel fly clinging to its tip.

“Four in a Row”
The invisible line formed between the hovering balloons adds interest to this photo and highlights the similarity between the balloons, which is the image’s subject.


Shoot at least 10 images with leading lines. Try to turn the camera so that the lines make the image really interesting. Good items to try shooting: railroad tracks leading off into the distance or to a train, the shoreline of a lake or sea, roads, fence lines, rivers and streams, skyscraper lines, landscapes like lines of hills leading to distant mountains, tree branches, an arched bridge or other architectural piece.

Personal Note

I find that photographing leading lines so that they seem to grow out of the corners of the photo helps make the image more dynamic.

Until we meet again, I wish all of you brilliant flashes of perspective!

[ O*] Alycia