How to Add Leading Lines to Your Photos

Sign in
Duration: 8:10

Membership Options

Premium

Sign up for premium membership and get access to our best outdoor photography videos. Learn new photography techniques and tips from friendly professional photographers. Anytime. Anywhere.
Monthly $7.00
Annually $65.00

Gold

Upgrade to GOLD membership and get unlimited access to our entire library of premium outdoor photography videos, receive discounts on DVDs, video downloads, and classes in the shop. In addition, you’ll receive eight video downloads, two full-length classes, self-study educational tracks, access to GOLD member LIVE events, and so much more!
Annually $125.00

Are you aware of using leading lines in photography? These are the visual guidelines that help the viewer zone in on the central subject of your image. In this premium video on using leading lines in photography, Outdoor Photography Guide’s photographer David Johnston visits a waterfall in Tennessee and gives you the lowdown on how it works.

David explains that composition technique isn’t just about arranging your image. It’s also about using leading lines in photography and the power to control the viewer experience. In the wooded scenery, David shows you some examples, a pathway, a fence line, waterfalls, trees, all with the purpose of taking you through the image to arrive at the subject.

For a waterfall composition, he focuses on cascades of water in the foreground to lead the eye to the falling water drifting down the rock face in the distance. It’s a good example of using leading lines in photography. In these kinds of compositions, he likes to shoot in both the vertical and horizontal format for coverage.

For the next phase of using leading lines in photography, David relies on a fallen tree as it inclines upward to arrive at the waterfalls. He also shows you a broken tree that angles downward into the waterfalls. When using leading lines in photography, it’s important not to leave a location until you’ve explored various natural guidelines, perhaps a row of rocks, a layer of leaves or a meandering stream. Design your composition ahead of time. If the lines lead you from bottom to top, shoot vertical. If the lines lead you inward from either side of the frame, use the landscape format.

Next time you head out on a field trip, keep in mind the concept of using leading lines in photography. In this premium video, Outdoor Photography Guide’s photographer David Johnston shows the power of using leading lines in photography to create unique compositions.