Photography composition rules - Leading line

A work of art needs to appeal to emotion. One way to achieve this is by showing lines in your picture. Over the next few tutorials, I would be discussing how lines could be shown in a picture. In this post, we shall discuss leading lines.

Leading lines are lines that lead the viewer's eye towards the main subject.


As you can see from above, there are 3 elements (Odd numbers are always good, they seem to catch the viewer's interest) in the main subject (A Yellow clip, a Red, and a Green one). While two of them are vertical, one was kept horizontal to disrupt the monotony and make it interesting :). But then, you have the clothesline running through it. The clothesline is the leading line which leads your eye to the main subject(s). The Subject was placed carefully to about 1/3rds on the left side and left the background - plain so that there are no other distractions.

Let us look at another example (below), this picture was taken for a competition on Red and Green color (Complementary colors - more on this later).

When you Don't have a leading line, You can create one! For this, I placed a bold Red and Green card papers on each other, the partition created a line. Simple isn't it?

I then placed the subject(s) Red and Green Pins, near the line (partition) --- very important.

Let us now see a not so good example (below) of a leading line.

We have a line in the picture but the subject of 2 pins is faraway from the line.

This is a kind of picture which is guiding the viewer's eye not really towards the Subject. I hope this helps.

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