Leading Lines

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Whitstable jetty. Canon 5D : EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM (25mm) : 65 sec : f20 Cokin ND 5 and ND 3 Grad filter 

Sometimes, the rules of photographic composition can feel like tired cliches. Leading lines certainly fit that description. However, the eyes like to be led to the point of interest. It feels natural and generates a positive sense of expectation. Used correctly leading lines are a powerful visual tool.

This shot was taken on a blustery day in Whitstable Kent. The clouds were moving quickly and the choice of a long exposure ensured they were rendered dynamically. The chains on both sides of the jetty provided interesting leading lines, with the light at the end of the jetty’s walkway acting as the point of interest.

Graduated ND filters were used to darken and accentuate the sky, allowing the jetty to dominate. Meanwhile, in post-production, channels and curves were used to enhance the overall tonality of the final monochrome image.