I was working on the composition chapter in my next book and I thought I would share a little tip that I find I apply to a lot of my images. See, part of your job as photographer is to direct the attention of the viewer to the subject. There are a lot of ways of doing this but one that I find very useful is the use of leading lines.
Take a look at the image below of the St. Louis Arch. It’s composed in a loose rule-of-thirds composition but it’s the use of leading lines flowing to the arch that really give movement to the image.
There’s actually three sets of lines all leading towards the base of the arch like a big arrow. First, there’s the curve of the pond that pulls the eye from the bottom of the frame up into the image. Next are the tops of the trees and the slope of the hill leading down from the left. The final eye-catcher is the gleaming reflection of the sun on the arch, which attracts your attention directly to the top of the arch.
The next time you are out taking photos, see if you can’t find some visual features that you can include to draw the viewer to your subject. After a while, you will do it without even thinking about it.