There are few other composition techniques more powerful than leading lines.  Leading lines are great tool to meet multiples goals:

  • Give a sense of depth and perspective;

One of the challenges of photography is to represent a three dimension reality in a two dimensions medium.  Helping the viewer recreate the third dimension is easily achieved with leading lines.  In this particular example, perspective created by leading lines from right of the picture to the center and then to the upper left third of the picture is creating that sense of depth.

  • Direct the eyes of the viewer where you want them;

Leading lines also direct the viewer eyes within the picture.  Having your audience travel in the picture, from near to far at the point you want is important.  In this picture, the walkway is going to the shore where the white house is.  Since bright part of a picture draw the attention, having a walkway that enables us to travel to this house is helping this picture.

  • Keep your viewer attention.

Is leading lines really that powerful?

In this picture, there is a problem however.  The walkway on the left side is heading out of the picture.  When composing a picture you need to avoid leading the viewer outside the picture.  Should you do so, the viewer might not come back in the picture.  In this case, I should remove it using content aware fill from Photoshop.  Seeing mistake sometime help us avoid them.

In summary, Leading lines are really powerful compositional techniques.  However pay attention to the following:

  • Keep the viewer in the picture;
  • Use them to help create a sense of depth;
  • Have them lead the viewer to the subject.

Combining leading line with other rules of compositions will create a powerful composition.  In this picture, strong elements and the subject are on the third lines.  The white house attracts our attention because it is bright.

Do you try to use multiple rules of compositions when creating a picture?