Leading Leading Lines
A 52 Pics Selection.
Every great book, novel, story, starts with a perfect opening line. To that end I offer leading lines. Opening lines below.
If you want to have some fun, visit the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest that challenges entrants to compose opening sentences to the worst of all possible novels. https://www.bulwer-lytton.com/ This year's grand prize: "A lecherous sunrise flaunted itself over a flatulent sea, ripping the obsidian bodice of night asunder with its rapacious fingers of gold, thus exposing her dusky bosom to the dawn’s ogling stare."
The Opening Lines
1. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (1813)
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
2. Moby-Dick, Herman Melville (1851)
Call me Ishmael.
3. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens (1859)
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.
4. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson (1883)
Squire Trelawney, Dr Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace 17-, and go back to the time when my father kept the Admiral Benbow inn, and the brown old seaman, with the sabre cut, first took up his lodging under our roof.
5. Ulysses, James Joyce (1922)
Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.
6. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
7. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell (1949)
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
8. The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger (1951)
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
9. The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway (1952)
He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.
10. Catch 22, Joseph Heller (1961)
It was love at first sight.
Behind the Scenes
I printed the lines, with a vanishing point, on 13x19 paper and then taped two sheets together to make the background. I found an old book and tried a number of shots. I chose to shoot higher to show some of the pages. Then cropped in PS with light sharpening. You can see my LED bulbs from last week on the desk!
Leading lines are lines that guide the viewer from the edge of your frame towards your subject, usually coming from a corner(s). Look for things in your scene that effortlessly takes your viewer's eye straight to your intended subject. We're trying to direct the viewer to a part of our image that is most important in the composition. Think staircase railings, paths and roads in a landscape, bridges and jetties leading off into the distance all make for excellent ways to incorporate leading lines in your shot. Feel free to think out of the box... Remember leading lines don't need to be straight. Curving streams, rice paddies and long-exposure car taillight streaks can all look very cool in a shot. Patterns and textures can also form leading lines to take your viewer straight to the action. Just be alive to your surroundings and you're sure to see leading lines for your next epic shot!