In the following photographs I have used the line (or leading line) to carry the eye through the picture. Traditionally the line should lead the eye to somewhere or something or joining together something or one place or another. In theory this point should not out of the frame.
(click to enlarge any image)
This image demonstrates the leading line. In fact I see two sets of lines. The first being the jetty with the other being the row of flags pointing down to the small crowd at the end of the jetty. The lines are also combined with the Rule of Thirds where the flag pole, the intersection of the jetty and the mountains all adhere to this. While the image is technically correct it is not the most visually exciting photograph. Something is missing. I think that it is the sense of depth. The lines take you to somewhere that when you arrive is actually too small leaving the mind somewhat disappointed.
I have tried to correct what I see as the shortcomings in the first image. The leading lines are present, but it now has a sense of scale with the people at the front. You get a sense of where they have come from and what they went to see, perhaps the view of the mountains. The landscape format also helps with the balance of the picture in that the people at the front have ‘space’ to walk into which is still in the frame. Also what strengthens the image is that the jetty crosses diagonally cutting through the frame.
As an exercise I took the picture more in the style of the first with the jetty leading line going directly ahead. With the people close to the edge of the frame even though with the strong leading line the image does not have the correct balance and to me is uneasy on the eye.
Mentioned earlier traditionally lines should not go out the frame. With this picture I tried to disprove the theory. I feel the eye still feels comfortable viewing along the allotment outgoing line. Why I feel this works is the red lettuces catch the eye long enough before leaving the picture. This momentary stop in the visual journey is just enough to make you feel comfortable with the image. So perhaps the line is not really leaving the frame.
Finally I wanted to really prove that a leading line can take you right out the picture without any visual stopping on the way and still give a pleasing image. I researched this theory without too much success but a number of times it was mentioned that if the image is abstracted from the original combined with strong composition it will then work. The following is the result and I feel happy that it works. Why I am not totally sure. Perhaps the eye is slowed down from the very wide angle as it sweeps around the arc of the fence to the narrow exit point.