Essential Composition: Leading Lines

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming e-book, Essential Composition: A Guide for the Perplexed. I’ll make an announcement post here on June 12, the date of its release.

I’m sure you’ve heard – or perhaps you’ve uttered it yourself – that it feels as if you can “walk right into” a certain photograph. What characteristic gives the viewer an invitation to be pulled into the image and become a participant in it? More often than not, it’s the successful use of leading lines.

The use of leading lines is powerful compositional tool that helps the photographer “lead” the viewer’s eye and attention toward the focal point of the image. Lines also help give an image structure and establish flow and direction, keeping it from becoming visually static.

Leading lines control and manipulate the visual experience by pulling the viewer on a dynamic journey through the scene in the very specific way that the photographer intends; near to far, up or down, from corner to corner. All the while, the viewer’s eye is moving, stopping only when it reaches the photographer’s pre-designed, intended resting place. The lines can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, straight or curved, literal or merely implied. As long as they are purposeful and meet the intentions of the photographer, they can be useful in giving the image dynamic flow.

The release date of Essential Composition: A Guide for the Perplexed is June 12 and will be available for download in the Earth and Light e-store.


Posted in Essays, Images, Photo Instruction | Tagged , ,


  1. Posted May 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm by ELizabeth Murdock | Permalink

    AM looking forward to it…Awesome photograph…:)

  2. Posted May 30, 2012 at 9:09 am by Alex Filatov | Permalink

    Powerful image Richard, lovely composition! It was nice meeting you over at Dead Horse Point last week.
    Looking forward to the ebook!

  3. Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:57 am by Suku Menon | Permalink

    Thank you Richard !! Superb pictures !!!

One Trackback

  1. By Weekly Theme 2 | smart phone square □ on June 24, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    […] The next theme chosen by Paul is: ‘Leading Lines‘ No conditions were set for the theme but an idea of what is required was given in the form of a picture from Richard Bernabe. […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>