Leading lines, Eid-al-Adha and a Praying Mantis at a Different kind of Prayer: Your Photos of the Week

Each week, our editors choose stunning photos submitted by members of Your Shot, National Geographic's photo community.

By Kristen McNicholas
Published 18 Aug 2019, 08:00 BST

A leading line is a compositional tool in photography that guides our eyes through the frame. A leading line can be achieved by using light, layering, and the position of objects in a photograph to direct our gaze in an organised manner. Photographers want to find these lines naturally in the frame, compose around them, and wait for the perfect instant—the decisive moment—to suspend that moment in time.

This week, a few Your Shot photographers used leading lines in ways that really struck me. Your Shot photographer Neelima Azad used a central leading line to guide our eyes straight through a scene of goats being brought to a market to be sacrificed for Eid al-Adha in Dubai. She used the layers of feet, chains, and a man in the background to give us a sense of the space and an organised line of sight.

In Your Shot photographer Michele N.’s image of a woman praying in Cambodia, also during Eid al-Adha, light is used to guide our eyes across her white form to her hand held up in worship. What that leading line also reveals to the viewer is a green insect quietly sitting on the woman’s back. Without the use of light in this instance, our eyes might have glanced over her small visitor.

My advice for photographers looking to improve their leading lines is always, first and foremost, to practice! Let the natural lines in a scene guide your own eye, and be patient as the moment unfolds in your viewfinder. The more practice you have, the more lines you can detect and work into your compositions.

Associate Photo Editor Kristen McNicholas looks at daily uploads from Your Shot, starting each day by sifting through thousands of photographs. This series is a selection of her favorites from the past week.
Read More

You might also like

The Colour of Summer, Minimalist Cityscapes and the Fragility of Film: Your Photos of the Week
Portraits of Courage, Explosions of Colour and Landscapes of Ice: Your Photos of the Week
Great migrations, dashing stampedes and captured gazes of all kinds: your photos of the week
Future space crusaders, a natural wonder at peace and a uniquely touching animal portrait: Your Photos of the Week
Visions of Grandeur, Pain and Quiet Companionship: Your Pictures of the Week

Explore Nat Geo

  • Animals
  • Environment
  • History & Culture
  • Science
  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Space
  • Adventure
  • Video

About us


  • Magazines
  • Newsletter
  • Disney+

Follow us

Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society. Copyright © 2015-2021 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved