Landscape Photography Composition Rules You Need to Start Using Today

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Use Leading Lines

Leading lines are one of the easiest landscape composition rules to implement, and one of the most effective as well.

Virtually anything can act as a leading line — a fence or a road, footprints in the sand or snow, a line of trees, or a pathway through a forest.

Different types of lines can be used as well — converging lines like railroad tracks that seem to come together in the distance, straight lines that cut across the scene, or even curved lines can be used effectively.

And what all those lines do is help tell the viewer’s eye where they should look next.

In some photos, leading lines connect the foreground to the background, giving the photo a better sense of depth.

In other cases, leading lines connect the left and right sides of the shot, helping to give the image a greater sense of balance.

Either way, lines are an important tool for giving viewers a “guided tour” of your image. See how to use leading lines with great results in the video below by Joshua Cripps:

How to Use Leading Lines

  • Frame the shot such that the leading line helps move the viewer’s eye towards something. In the image above, note how the path leads directly to the setting sun.
  • When using a straight line or a converging line, try to position yourself with a low angle of view, that way the lines are more prominent in the foreground, as was done in the image above.
  • When using a curved line, seek a shooting position from above, such that the line has an opportunity to weave through the entirety of the shot.
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