Composition: Leading Lines

Composition: Leading Lines

by Brad Monnerjahn 



I photographed this sunset in February of 2014. I was in Mandeville, Louisiana on Lake Ponchartrain at a place called Sunset Point. As the name suggests it’s a wonderful location if you’re a sun-hunter like I am. This is one the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever watched, and most definitely one of the best I’ve ever captured on camera. Besides the pure majesty and brilliant colors of the sunset, what I particularly appreciate about this one is a compositional technique called Leading Lines. 


You’ll no doubt notice a variety of lines in this one. First, the railing captures the eye and directs the viewer along the dock into the frame. Second, the Causeway Bridge enters the frame from the right and slowly disappears to the left. Last, but definitely my favorite part of this one, the clouds had this sweeping, directional quality. They swoop in from the left of the frame and coalesce at the actual sunset.

If you’ve seen my  previous blog regarding the Rule of Thirds, then you’ll notice that technique utilized here as well: left third vertical line = dock pathway, right third bottom intersection = sunset, bottom third = water, top two thirds = sky. 

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Here’s another example… this time in black and white and also showcasing a future topic: symmetry.

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