Leading Lines

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Back to lessons learned…

This week I want to briefly discuss leading lines.  In three of these photos I used lines to focus the viewers attention.  In one photo I don’t, and that photo leaves most viewers with a question mark in their minds.

See in baseball the eye can follow the baselines…and the action does as well.  All action focuses on the point where the runner must meet the base and pivot his direction to advance.  You would do the same thing in soccer, football, or basketball by showing the goals and basket.

In the photo where three players go up to catch the ball they just happened to be in perfect alignment for split second (when I caught them).  The ball is visible and lets us know what they are jumping for.

In the photo of my outfielder son the lines run in multiple directions.  One runner is headed to the base, the cutoff man is looking at my son, and my son is focused on the boy headed to first base in a third direction.  He has the ball though…so the viewer would be saying “What is he looking at?”  It works to show the confusion of  the moment,but it can leave more questions than answers in the viewers mind.

So keep these lines in your head when photographing sports, travel scenes or anything else.  They can be used to reinforce your photograph’s intent in ways limited only by your imagination.