Finding the Line

Gear Detail
Fort Missoula, Montana

Lines are one of the most basic composition tools we have to help us design a photograph. Lines can be literal and obvious or subtle and implied. In this close-up image of a gear, the strong diagonal line of the bar leads from the right center circle to the left edge. There the edge of the gear curves down to the bottom. Then the eye picks up a dark shadow line that leads back up to the circle. Since the viewer's eye willingly follows lines like arrows pointing the way through an image, including lines in your composition helps lead your viewer though the entire photo.

Learn how lines and other graphic elements can help you create stronger images in Fundamentals of Photo Composition, an online course beginning October 28, 2020, through the Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana. Click here to register.