Natural, meandering lines are most common in landscape photos. “I think the best type of leading lines are ones that curve, because they can bring the viewer’s eye through the entire image,” says Kosslow. Whether it’s bending flower stalks or rolling hills, curved lines can create compelling landscape photography.
How to find your lines.
If you want to use leading lines in your photoshoot, choose your location wisely. Plan your shoot to incorporate bridges, roads, boardwalks, or railroad tracks to add strong straight lines to your composition. Bodies of water, hiking trails, tree lines, and snowbanks can create more natural, curving lines. If you have trouble getting started, just look at your setting and examine the textures and patterns you see.
Focus on your subject.
Leading lines should always point to the main subject of your photo and direct the viewer’s attention. To use this compositional technique effectively, you’ll want to place your subject where the lines point or converge. If you’re conducting a fashion photography shoot, the clothing and the model will be the focus of the photo. With architecture photography, “you find the building — your subject — and then you work backward. You walk around it and you look for lines that lead to that building. You want to show your viewer what you see, but you also want to direct their eyes,” explains Silva.
While leading lines are something you can often plan for and scout out, sometimes you run across them accidentally. Keep an eye on your surroundings, try different photo compositions, and approach your subject from unique angles. When you try something new, you may find unexpected lines.