Storytelling and Leading Lines

Week 3 Challenge: Winter Preparation – “Storytelling and Leading Lines”

As we embrace the winter season, let’s focus on telling a compelling visual story through your images. This week’s challenge combines the art of storytelling with the use of leading lines in your compositions. Leading lines are elements in a photo that guide the viewer’s eye towards a specific focal point, creating a dynamic and engaging image.

Challenge Guidelines:

  1. Select a Winter Scene: Choose a winter setting that inspires you. It could be a snowy landscape, a cityscape adorned with holiday lights, or any scene that resonates with the winter season.
  2. Identify Leading Lines: Look for natural or man-made elements in your chosen scene that can serve as leading lines. Examples include roads, pathways, fences, tree branches, or even shadows in the snow. Leading lines should guide the viewer through your visual narrative.
  3. Tell a Story: Plan your photo series to tell a coherent story. It could be a sequence of images capturing the progression of a winter day, the preparation for the holidays, or the beauty of winter solitude. Consider the narrative flow and emotional impact.
  4. Compose Thoughtfully: Pay attention to composition techniques. Place your leading lines strategically within the frame to enhance the visual journey. Experiment with angles, perspectives, and framing to create a sense of depth and dimension.
  5. Examples:
    • Snowy Pathway: Capture a winding snowy path leading towards a distant winter cabin, conveying a sense of anticipation and adventure.
    • City Lights Leading to Holiday Market: Use city streets as leading lines guiding the viewer through a festive holiday market, capturing the warmth and joy of the season.
  6. Post-Processing Tips: Enhance your images with subtle adjustments in post-processing. Consider adjusting contrast, brightness, and color balance to bring out the winter ambiance and emphasize your storytelling elements.
  7. Share and Discuss: Participate in the weekly virtual photo challenge by sharing your images with the community. Discuss your creative choices, storytelling approach, and any challenges you faced during the process.

Warmer Climates

If you’re in an area with warmer climates, you can adapt the Winter Preparation challenge to reflect the unique aspects of your environment. Here are additional examples for a winter-themed storytelling and leading lines challenge in warmer climates:

  1. Beachside Narratives:
    • Seaside Pathway: Capture a sandy pathway leading towards the ocean, adorned with seashells or footprints. Tell a story of a serene winter day by the beach, highlighting the contrast between the cool ocean breeze and the warm winter sun.
  2. Urban Oasis:
    • City Park Trails: Explore urban parks with walking trails lined by palm trees or other foliage. Use these paths as leading lines to guide viewers through a story of city dwellers enjoying the milder winter weather in a green oasis within the metropolis.
  3. Botanical Gardens:
    • Garden Pathways: Visit a botanical garden with vibrant winter blooms. Utilize pathways and floral arrangements as leading lines, creating a visual narrative of nature’s resilience and beauty even in the cooler months.
  4. Cultural Celebrations:
    • Outdoor Festivals: Focus on leading lines within a festive outdoor event or cultural celebration. Capture pathways adorned with colorful decorations, conveying the warmth and vibrancy of winter festivities in a warmer climate.
  5. Architectural Wonders:
    • Architectural Details: Explore urban architecture with interesting lines and shapes. Use building structures or cityscape features as leading lines to tell a story of modern life in a warm winter setting.

Remember to adapt your narrative to reflect the unique characteristics of a warmer winter. Showcase the beauty and cultural richness of your environment, emphasizing the elements that make winter special in your region. Enjoy the challenge, and let your creativity shine in capturing the essence of winter in a warm climate!

Remember, the goal is not just to capture a beautiful winter scene but to narrate a visual story that resonates with your audience. Enjoy the process, and let your creativity shine!


  1. Mike Browne – YouTube
    1. Mike Browne has a 3 part series on Leading lines
  2. Leading Lines: You keep shooting with Bryan Peterson
  3. Camber Film School
  4. How to Improve Your Photography Through Storytellin
  5. Blurb: Creative Inspiration – Daniel Milnor 
  6.  Is Photography Storytelling?
  7. Joe McNally: Storytelling Photography