How to Force Leading Lines in Landscape Photography

Using leading lines is one of the most basic yet effective composition techniques available. They help in drawing viewers right into the image and emphasize the subject. By using the leading lines creatively, you can control where and how the viewers see the image. It is quite a powerful composition technique. To showcase how you can use leading lines effectively in landscape photography, we have photographer Gavin Hardcastle in today’s video:

In landscape photography, the most obvious leading lines are hiking trails, rivers, fences or roads. They are quite easy to notice and make your work a whole lot smoother. But you won’t always come across such convenient leading lines in nature. You may need to force your way into creating leading lines. How do you go about that?

Hardcastle demonstrates in the video how he uses proximity, magnification and lens distortion to craft a leading line out of a nearby rock and a log. And they work perfectly to point toward the center of the image, i.e. the mountain peak. And as he notes, it is a bit “easy” to create such leading lines when you’re using a wide-angle lens. That’s because wide-angle lenses exaggerate the nearby elements and also introduce interesting distortions. On the flip side, the actual landscape in the distance will appear small. So keep your eyes out and try to maintain a balance.

Are you a fan of using leading lines in your landscape photos? Let us know in the comments.

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