Photo by Scott Bourne - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons
Photo by Scott Bourne - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

If you ever wonder why you’re drawn to lines don’t worry, it’s normal. As humans we tend to prefer certain shapes and leading lines are one of our favorite distractions. Some people see them better than others. But those who do see them are immediately drawn to them. And for that reason alone, leading lines are a valuable compositional tool in photography.

Photo by Scott Bourne - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

I made these two images a few years ago for the Tacoma Glass Museum. I wanted to show off the architecture without doing a cheesy postcard shot. So I got my wide-angle lens out and leaned against the building, pointed up and BAM – leading lines. Lots of them.

Leading lines help guide the viewer through a photograph. When composed well, they may even hold the viewer in an endless loop – sort of like a crop maze. They’re a powerful way to draw the eye into, through and out of a photograph.

Next time you have 20 minutes to spare, grab your camera and go for a photo walk in your own neighborhood. Find out how many leading line images you can score in 20 minutes.

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