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Rules of Composition: Enhancing Emotion in a Photograph through Leading Lines

Updated: Jun 19

Leading lines lead your eye through the photo, sometimes to a specific point or subject. They can be formed by roads, bricks in walls, lines in sidewalks, or even a string of Christmas lights.

In this first portrait of a business man in an outdoor breezeway, the leading lines of the columns and walkway radiate to and away from him, giving him an aura of energy and power.


Corporate portrait of a man in an outdoor breezeway

The energy in these two cityscapes comes from the light trails of the cars moving into and out of the city. The fact that your eye travels the lines is where the energy comes from.

Long-exposure of downtown Atlanta from Jackson Street Bridge

Long-exposure photograph of Downtown Acworth after a storm

This portrait of a couple kissing on a bridge contains not only energy from the leading lines of the bridge, but because your eye is drawn specifically to the couple in the middle of the image, there is a feeling of connectedness.


Couple kissing on a bridge



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