Monday, January 31, 2011

Leading Lines

Since having kids, I have developed a very serious hobby taking and editing photos.  I started using all automatic settings and only cropping and using red-eye reduction to now using only manual settings (with all their mistakes and mishaps) and obsessively editing on Lightroom.  I also love to go online and read photography tutorials, since I have been entirely self-taught, and have learned so much!  Being friends with people who do take classes helps, too (thanks, Jaime!)--I can pick their brain for free and use trial and error for the rest.  Plus having the world's two cutest kids makes for a lot of photo opportunities, so I never am lacking in excuses to practice.

Here are three photos I am actually proud of, and I will tell you why.  Yes, they are edited.  I did a terrible job with the lighting because I was so determined to get the shot I was in too much of a rush to fiddle with my settings much.  Kind of like this day.  But the reason I like these photos:

is not just because it was a particularly sweet Vermonty moment--JDubbs, his dad, and Jax walking to the pond where there was an youth ice fishing derby going on--

--is because I had just read an online photgraphy tutorial at (Part I of II) and actually applied what I learned.  It was about leading lines, which are, according to the author,  "anything that leads the viewer’s eyes and focus TOWARD the subject".  She has all kinds of examples of how the lines in a photo--ones that are there originally by nature and structure--naturally make you look at the subject of the photo without you even realizing it.

And I think I actually pulled it off a little in these photos.

See how the lines in the road (yellow and dirt) draw your eyes forward toward the people?  And how the trees naturally are vertical lines which can draw your eyes down toward them?  Even the snowbank on the left draws straight to Papa.

So that's my pat on the back for myself, a little mini-tutorial for you, and a shout-out to a great tutorial.  I hope it inspires you to go out and try to capture shots like this on your own, and if you do, let me know!


Alana said...

I read that tutorial too! I really loved her examples and I think you nailed this one. :-) And in a sweet way too. :-)

Alicia Stucky said...

I love it! Would you beleive it -- I graduated art school not having any interest in photography at all... took the classes, did the assignments, but had the least interest in that of all my classes. Then I had kids, and I am counting down the days until I get real, professional camera. I'm researching the best ones now... and now I'm always trying to remember every snippit I can from all those years ago.

Ann Wyse said...

The light (and sky) in the very first photo also complements the lines and adds emphasis to the subjects. Nice!