The Importance of Lines in Landscape Photography

One of the visual elements in photography is line. It leads the eye of the viewer into the composition and allows one’s vision to travel deeper into the scenery. Learn more about the important role of lines in landscape photography.

Particularly when the lines emanate from the bottom of the image frame and point to important elements in the background, they can be very effective at grabbing the viewer’s attention and propelling their eye into the scene. Diagonal and vertical lines often make for a more dynamic composition than horizontal ones, giving a sense of upward or downward motion as they lead the viewer’s eye. Horizontal lines, such as a distinct horizon line, can sometimes be problematic as they tend to visually divide a scene, and if placed improperly can interrupt visual flow and trap the eye.

Multiple diagonal lines can also create a sense of depth and perspective. With the right knowledge, you will be able to use lines to produce more interesting photos. You can use boardwalks, paths, shorelines, and roads as leading lines. Combining the leading line technique and the Rule of Thirds will result in stunning photographs that have 3-dimensional effect.

See more landscape photography tips below:

There are three things to look for when using straight-line objects.

  • The lines should be long (a line of two fenceposts won’t do much for your photo; twenty fenceposts will).

  • They should be receding diagonally away from the camera (remember our example).

  • And it helps if there is a repeated pattern in the lines which diminishes as the object recedes away from the camera. In our example, the fenceposts will appear to get smaller as they progress into the distance. This will create a sense of perspective that makes your two-dimensional photo seem quite three-dimensional.     

Watch the video below to learn more tips in using lines to create better landscape photos.