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Leading Line Photography, Tips For Better Travel Photos
New York City, Rain Rodolph Photo
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Lines, By Glenn Pollock  (Leading Lines In Photography)
[Hi, babe. What’s your sign?]
Article by Glenn Pollock

  • Lines
There are many kinds of lines, lead-in lines (“Hi, babe. What’s your sign?”), one liners (“Take my wife - please”), by-lines, bread lines, clothes lines, telephone lines, RR lines….. But the lines to be discussed here are lines in photographic compositions - Graphic Lines.
  • Compostion
Lines are much of what composition is all about. Lines are created at the joining, or edges of different patterns, textures, colors, shades. Lines create shapes, but they also direct eye movement.
  • Graphic Lines
When you look at a photo, your eyes constantly move over the surface. Graphic lines are a means of controlling those movements [Actually, it is this constant movement that creates and sustains the image in your mind. If you could “like totally” stop your eyes from moving for any substantial length of time, your mental image of what you are viewing would fade into a gray nothingness]. When lines are used for this purpose, they are called Leading Lines. They can be actual lines, implied lines or psychological lines.
  • Actual Lines
Actual lines are the visible lines in a composition created by the meeting of the different graphic elements. Their position in the photograph, as well as the direction in which they lead your gaze, and the feelings they impart, play a dominant role in the overall composition. Lines that lead your gaze to the main subject in the photograph help emphasize that subject and tell you that it is an important part of the composition.
  • The S Curve
A commonly recognized form of the leading line is called an ‘S’ curve. It is simply a leading line that takes a more graceful, and indirect route to the main subject, and usually connotes calmness or relaxation; although the tighter the curve the more tension is created.
  • DiagonalLines
Vertical and horizontal lines imply that the subject is in balance or at rest, with no forces acting upon it. A line that leans implies that the subject is in an unbalanced or dynamic position evoking a greater feeling of tension or action, and jagged or broken lines amplify those feelings
But most good photographs don’t have just a single leading line, or single point of interest. If you study them, you will often find many subtle lines guiding your eye around within the image - letting you explore its many aspects without letting your eyes wander out of the frame.  These controlling lines may not appear as actual lines, but are in fact, implied lines created by the arrangements or positions of different elements in the composition. A row of fence posts might create an implied line, or footprints in a snow scene.
  • Implied Connection
The third form of line is psychological and usually occurs when there is an implied connection between objects in a photograph. The strongest connection is usually between people or animals within a photo, or with you, the viewer, and the subjects in the picture. If two people in a picture are looking at each other, there is a psychological line connecting them, just as strong as if it were an actual line. If a single person in a photo is looking at an object in the photo, there will be a connection between the two; if the person is looking off at something outside the picture, that connection is broken. Single person portraits appear stronger if the subject is looking at the camera [and thus the viewer], creating a psychological connection or line between them. But multi-person portraits are often more dynamic if the participants are interacting, rather than looking at the camera, creating connections within the photograph.
Psychological lines can also connect inanimate objects, especially when there is motion or potential motion implied; a blurred baseball rushing toward a bat will create a line between the two objects. Also, if motion is implied in a photograph, there will be a psychological line projected out from the moving object in the direction of implied travel. That’s why photographs seem to feel more “right” if there is more space in front of a moving subject than behind it.

That’s enough talk about lines. Next time I may just make much ado about nothing
Article by Glenn Pollock.
Leading lines add interest to a photo
Leading Lines draw the eye deep into the photo.
Rain Rodolph Photo, China
Use leading lines to make better travel photos  Lines are much of what composition is all about.  Lines are created at the joining, or edges of different patterns, textures, colors, and shades where they create shapes and direct eye movement.
Learn More About Leading Lines.  This Book Takes the Mystery Out of Creating and Selling Digital Travel Photos

See  More Amazon Book Reviews

more reviews for the first edition of this book

Reviews for the first edition of this book

Great Tips illustrated with Great Pics, October
(Amazon Review)

I found this book to be engaging and full of great tips and instructions. The black and white travel photos inside are a joy to look at. I would like to see another book of his with just the photos, printed larger and on glossy stock.

The book is divided into two sections: How to take good travel pictures, and then, How to sell them. ....

This is the sort of handbook that you will want to buy, read and then save to refer back to again and again.

    It found a permanent home on my bookshelf, September 3,
  This book covers all aspects of selling photographs. Drawing from his own
 experience as a travel writer and photographer, the author has created a real
resource for anyone who wants to have their images published. He gives sound
advice as to how to be productive creatively and walks you through the necessary
steps to getting your images to market. I highly recommend this book to anyone
who is serious about selling their photographs.
Make And Sell Digital Travel Photos
Lines that lead your gaze to the main subject in the photograph help emphasize that subject and tell you that it is an important part of the composition.
China, Leading,  Rain Rodolph Photo
Great Wall of China,  Rain Rodolph Photo
Great Wall of China, Leading Lines, Rain Rodolph Photo
Leading Lines
Article by Glenn Pollock.
Leading Lines For Better Travel Photography
Leading Lines Photography
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