#PicOftheWeek, Leading Lines
Updated: May 20, 2022
The subject is usually pretty easy to determine on most jobs, especially tree jobs. It's the tree climber, the cut being made, or the tree that is being cut. But with so many stray limbs, other tree branches, or sometimes being stuck at an odd angle, it can be difficult to make the subject of the photo easy to distinguish or clearly defined. Using leading lines is often a way I navigate the busy scene, using the chaos to my advantage, and still highlighting the subject. In this photo, I was standing near the chipper where a lot of down limbs had accumulated, however, Petey, our tree climber, was facing me and was cutting a limb. Behind the tree Petey was in were more trees they had trimmed and even more down brush. To the right was the yard, however with several limbs also, it looked just as chaotic. This meant I was going to have to use the brush to help create my composition. Stepping directly into one pile of debris, so close a leaf was touching the camera and my hand, I was able to use the foreground as negative space and hide most of the business
that was to the right of the subject. With the limb I was using as my foreground leading away from me, it created a guideline for the eye to navigate. With the composition fairly set, it was then a matter a timing to ensure what the subject was doing was worth looking at. I used a slightly slower shutter speed (1/80th I believe) to show the movement what would be falling limbs. The trick here was I wanted the falling limb to continue the guide the foreground established. As soon as the leafy part of the limb hit the top of the frame, I took the picture.
The end result is a photo that leads your eyes to the subject no matter where you start in the photo.