One of the most eye-catching things that you can do with your photography is use leading lines. These lines could look solid (like train tracks) or they could be “psychic”, like a person pointing across the picture at something. Whatever you choose to do, your lines should lead the eye into the picture.

There are 3 basic lines that you can look for: vertical, horizontal, and diagonal. Let’s look at each:


Vertical lines can make your photography seem peaceful or powerful, depending on your subject, of course. The line(s) leads your eye upward. For peaceful, think about a still forest of tall trees. For powerful, think about a tall building taken from the worm’s eye view.


Using horizontal lines gives a feeling of stillness, leading the eye from left to right or from right to right to left. There is usually not a lot of movement evident in the image. Use horizontal lines if you want to give stability to the image. 


Diagonal lines have the most capacity to lead the eye. They make an image look “dynamic” and tend to catch the eye of the viewer. If you can find diagonal lines with the objects you take pictures of, it will really take your image to the next level. 

Whenever possible, make your lines lead into the image, possibly toward a subject of some kind. For example, if you take a picture of a person running along a path, have that person running toward the middle of the image instead of placing them facing the edge of the picture as if they were about to run off the image.

This Week’s Assignment:

Take 3 good pictures using different kinds of line. See if you can cover each of the different kinds of lines listed above: Horizontal, Vertical, and Diagonal. If you feel proud of your pictures, choose your best shot and post it to Instagram with #DigitalArtTeacher. Take at least 10 photos for each subject. Let’s line it up!

Leave a Reply