What are leading lines?
This is the traditional Korean garden at Yeomiji Botanical Garden on Jeju Island in South Korea. An awesome garden... you'll love it.
Here's proof of the power of leading lines. Just try NOT to look at the concrete ledge! It guides you straight to the traditional Korean pavilion.
First, you look at the pavilion, then your eyes shift to the trees... across the top ..... down to the waterlilies and the pond. Counter-clockwise around the image.
But in a picture where nothing particular grabs your attention, the message your brain gives is to look at the top left and in a clockwise motion from there.
Because that's the way we read and interpreting an image is the same thing. (At least, if your first language is written from left to right... English for instance.
One of the best known composition principles is the Rule of Thirds. This photo's a good example.
Where's the pavilion? Sitting on the intersection of the third lines in the top right. The leading lines (the ledge) and the pavilion lay in the right third of the photograph.
The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria's Inner Harbour is a grand old building, a National Historic Site.
Impressive architecture and oodles of photo ops. Also a beautiful rose garden and a ghostly history if you're into the supernatural! (The ghost approach could net you some really cool photos!)
I took this with my iPhone 5s and edited it in Snapseed. It's full of lines and patterns... they're for another time. Right now look at the walkway that curves up toward the hotel.
It's shaped like an S and it winds behind the trees. So where's it going? It's impossible to tell. See what we just did?
Obviously you can't step into the photograph and follow the path... you have no idea where it leads. You can only wonder. Well, maybe you've been here and you do know. If so... don't tell. Otherwise....
It's a bit of a mystery and we all love a good mystery.
You'd dying to give photography a try but a DSLR isn't in your budget right now. I hear ya',
... but, I know you've got a cell phone camera!
You don't need to drop a fortune on photography equipment. All you need to do is....
Pretty pink roses growing along a fence. We're at Butchart Gardens.
I can see 2 leading lines, where the rocks and plants run along the pathway and, the roses along the top of the fence.
Both lines curve diagonally across the photo.
What's the first thing I look at? The top right... the dark pink roses.
Why there? 3 reasons:
What about the vertical lines of foliage in the fence?
The garden designers at Butchart Gardens are amazing!
Every inch of this garden is a work of art.
Back to Vancouver and VanDusen Botanical Garden.
Fog... I love fog! It takes care of all the fussy details in the background that can mess up a good photo.
It's a cold, damp winter's day. I'm carrying a wad of Kleenex for my drippy nose... cold to the bone. Carrying a tripod and camera can suck out the last molecule of warmth.
It's my last scene of the day.
This stream runs behind the Stone Garden and the Maze and down to the Meadow Ponds. Check out the lines here. Lines can be real or apparent.
There's a triangle in this scene.
In garden photography, leading lines give new meaning to
"being led down the garden path".
Want to play with leading lines a bit?
Find a scene with some promising lines. Then take out your camera and
just play for awhile.
Try different angles.... move closer... move away, You might find your viewfinder grid really helpful.
Take your time, be patient.
When you like your composition, take your best shot!
If it just isn't coming together, move on to another scene and start again. Some scenes are better just appreciated and not photographed!
So, here's the lesson in a nutshell. You can either...
Best choice... the first one.
Flower Photography Home › Learn Basic Photography › Leading Lines
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