Composition Techniques – Leading Lines, 1

In the next post, I’ll discuss and illustrate leading lines as a composition element. As a segue from our previous topic, framing, to leading lines here are a few images from my trip to the Great Smokies last week.
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Framing – To wrap up framing, here is a five exposure (-2, -1, 0 1, 2 EV) HDR image. It is from inside the Cades Cove Primitive Baptist Church – Great Smoky Mountain NP.

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More Framing – Sometimes framing options aren’t obvious – you’ve got to use your imagination as well as change your camera position from the normal eye-level view that most of us use. (Mabry Mill at milepost 176, Blue Ridge Parkway – taken through the fence seen in the image following this one.) This is an example of where being aware of Hyperfocal Distance helps get things in focus from front to back.

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Leading Lines – This next image  illustrates the use of leading lines (in a fairly obvious way). The basic idea is to lead the viewer’s eye into or through the image. We’ll discuss lines, and leading lines, more in future posts.

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Framing plus Leading Lines – Of course, there’s no reason why multiple compositional devices can’t be used in combination. Here we have a leading line taking the eye into a scene made up of the “framed” mill. Unfortunately, the white Service Berry Tree blossoms don’t show up well. Another problem – in order to get both the fence & the Service Berry  branch into play necessitated covering part of the mill reflection with the fence. Not a good idea – try to separate all major image elements and avoid overlap.

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A straight shot – Lastly, there’s nothing wrong with a plain vanilla composition – It’s just that it will look just like every other shot of this scene. If that’s all that you want to show – “I was there” – there’s nothing wrong with that. Here’s my “straight shot”. Google “Mabry Mill images” to see how many of them look exactly like this one. While you’re looking at these mill images check how many are horizontal format – almost all. Are there no good vertical possibilities? Are most cameras incapable of shooting when rotated 90 degrees? What’s up???

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More to come……………

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