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The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographs by David duChemin

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Lesson 23. Lines: Lead My Eye

The eye will follow a line. Whether that’s a power line, the shadow of a tree, or the line created by several sheep standing on a hillside, the eye will follow it. It’ll even follow a line that doesn’t really exist, like when a boy looks across the frame at something on the other side of the image—we’ll always follow that eye-line. Here are some questions to consider when you’re choosing to include or exclude lines, and deciding how to place them once they’re in your frame:

Is this line leading somewhere? In other words, is there a payoff? If you allow that line there, and you let me follow it, please let it take me somewhere.

Nikon D3s, 32mm, 1/500 @ f/14, ISO 200The line formed by this river not only pulls ...

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