Leading lines are a fun and easy way to add interest to your photos. They’re not just for “leading” your viewers from one point in the frame to another. Leading lines can also draw attention toward a certain aspect of your subject or help break up the monotony of an otherwise flat scene. Whether you’re trying to convey movement or draw someone’s eye toward your subject, there are lots of opportunities for using leading lines in photography! Here are seven different types that will work well with most subjects:
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The great thing about stairs is their diversity. You can find them in any environment and they have a visual impact that few other lines do. They can be found in the city, country, forest, desert or mountains – and many more places.
- Use a wide angle lens. This means you’ll have to get close to the road itself, and it’s important not to turn your back on traffic while doing so.
- Set up your tripod and camera in an area where there is no traffic, either facing away from cars or toward them as they approach so that they can see you in the viewfinder (but don’t let them see you).
- Focus on the road itself, not what lies beyond it. You’ll want a clear line from one side of your frame all the way across both lanes of traffic without any distractions such as trees or signs along the way. If possible, use a cable release instead of pressing down on your shutter button directly; this will allow for more precise focusing than trying to hold still long enough for autofocus mechanisms would be able keep up with moving vehicles at such close range
Railroads and Rails
- Use a long lens. A telephoto lens allows you to capture the tracks in one shot without having to move around too much. This will help you keep your camera steady and ensure that it doesn’t shake while shooting, which can lead to blurry photos.
- Shoot in the morning and evening light. The angle from which you shoot will also affect how much of your image is filled with leading lines; if you use a wide-angle lens, there won’t be as much of an impact on this element of your composition because more of the railroads will be visible within the frame. Shooting at dawn or dusk will allow for more dramatic lighting and tonal variation within your images; however, if there are no clouds around then try using some filters like neutral density filters (ND) or grad NDs so that they don’t blow out any highlights!
- Use a tripod! You should always use a tripod when photographing landscapes because it helps keep everything sharp—and nothing says “landscape photography” like sharp lines!
Sidewalks, Paths, and Trails
Sidewalks can be a great place to shoot leading lines. The lines of the sidewalk will lead your eye in one direction, creating an interesting composition. You can also shoot along paths and trails if you’re looking for some different scenery. Keep in mind that these are often crowded areas, so be respectful of others’ space when taking photos there.
In order to find interesting patterns in the sidewalk or path, look for curves or other shapes that don’t form a straight line (or any other shape).
Rivers and Streams
Rivers and streams are great for leading lines. You can use a long lens to get the perspective right, or you can try zooming in on the water and looking for reflections, patterns, or contrast between plants or trees on either side of the river.
Shorelines are some of the most beautiful locations for leading line photography. Shorelines can be used to frame a subject, and this can help create depth of field effects. Shorelines also make for great leading lines when you use them in conjunction with a rule of thirds composition. Be sure to check out sunset photos that use these techniques for inspiration!
Canals, Docks, and Bridges
Canals, docks, and bridges are great for leading line photography. Canals are the ideal location for a long, winding path that can be used to lead the eye into the frame. Docks provide similar opportunities to create interesting compositions using leading lines.
Bridges can also be used to create leading line compositions by providing distance between your subject and the rest of the frame. A bridge will help you create a sense of scale in your photos, which is especially important when photographing landscape scenes that don’t have much variety in terms of foreground interest or distance from camera to far-off objects (such as mountains).
Tunnels are a great location for leading line photography. They’re often used to connect two places, making them the perfect place for travel or adventure shots. The tunnel itself is also an interesting subject matter—it can be used to make a photo more interesting or mysterious.
Rows of Trees or Plants
Plant rows are another great way to create leading lines in your photos. They can be straight or curved, and you can find them in fields, parks, gardens and forests. Plant rows are especially effective when the plants have contrasting colors and textures.
Fences and Walls with Openings
You can also use fences and walls with openings. A good example is the fence that’s near the fountain in front of the Louvre museum in Paris. The fence frames the shot, making it look like you’re on an island within a sea of tourists. Another great thing about this shot is that it gives you two different leading lines: one from left to right (the edge of the frame) and one from top to bottom (where you have people walking downward).
You can use the ideas we’ve given you to create your own leading line photography. It’s as simple as finding a good spot, then framing it with some sort of geometric shape. We hope that these suggestions and examples will inspire you to try out this technique for yourself!