Leading lines: powerful tools for your iPhone photography compositions

iPhone Photography Series

In the past we have talked about ways to capture our viewer’s attention and imagination in our photographs. We’ve talked about compositional rules, focus effects and exposure techniques. One thing we haven’t talked about is “leading lines”. If your goal is to draw our viewer into your image, there’s no better way to do it than by providing them a path to follow.

A “leading line” is just that. It is line that leads the viewer’s eye from one point in the photograph to another. The age old classic is railroad tracks. Sure, it’s a bit cliche but it’s a perfect example of the concept…

Beyond the cliche, there are all sorts of examples of this concept. You’ll be amazed at what you find when you start looking around for them. In the following two examples, I was able to find them walking through Denver (Capitol) and on the golf course (the fence). Other examples you’ll find are railings, fence lines, roads, trails, etc…

Leading lines are great for capturing your viewer’s attention but the real strength lies in their ability to lead your viewer to the subject of your image. In this example, my subject is Chris Nitz, a gifted toy photographer. I used the towering canyon above him to direct the viewer’s eye.


Now that we know what Leading Lines are and how to effectively use them in our photographs, let’s do it. Tag your photos with #iDBLeadingLines and share them on Instagram and I’ll select a few of my favorites in my next iPhone photography post. Speaking of next time, I’ll be sharing a few new darkroom tips with you.

I wanted to take a second to let you know about a new mobile photography community I launched on Facebook. It is dedicated to sharing mobile photography tips, tricks and news. We also have a monthly photo contest for cool prizes, so give it a like and share some inspiration with us!

Justin Balog is an award winning photographer and film maker. You can follow is daily creative adventures at HOSSedia.com or learn more about iPhone Photography in his iBook ‘Big World Little Lens‘. Click Here for the iPad Version. To find out more about Justin, follow him on Twitter and Facebook.