The crystal clear water of mountain lake in Glacier National Park, Montana with mountains reflecting in it.

This mountain lake in Glacier National Park demonstrates how lines can bring order to a photograph by leading our eyes to the central point of a photo.

(A continuation of a series on composition. Click here for composition tip one, The Rule of Thirds)

            We see lines everywhere. Most the time we simply do not pay attention to them, but as photographers we want to be more aware of lines and incorporate them into our photographs in ways that make our photographs better. We can do this by understanding how lines bring either order or disorder to our photographs.

Bringing Order

The silhouette of Longs Peak and several other mountains and puffy clouds at sunset in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Ordered patterns can be seen in both the cloud formations and in the ridge line created by the mountain peaks in this photo of Rocky Mountain National Park.

            Whether we realize it or not, we do incorporate lines in all of our photographs. We do this in both subtle ways and in dynamic ways. Look for the lines in the photos in this blog. Take note of how they bring order or disorder to each photograph.

            Well-used lines in a photograph bring order. Poorly used lines bring disorder. In the introduction to the photo tips series, we read that art is not random. Because art is not random we are drawn to art that has order. Our universe speaks of order. God is a God of order and we were created to live in an ordered universe.

The Wilderness of Order  

A path through a green tree filled Fontenelle Forest in Nebraska.

Lines can create order by giving our eyes a destination in the photo. This forest path leads our eyes deep into the photo as we mentally walk down it.

            We see this order in the nature around us. The Hebrew word used in the Bible for wilderness, “midvar”, is closely related to the Hebrew word “davar” meaning order. God’s natural creation is a place of order. If God being the very first artist created with order, we then should follow His example when we create art. Lines help bring order to our photos and other artwork.

            The lines in the photograph of the lake in Glacier National Park (Top photo) clearly show how lines bring order to a photograph. The dominant lines in the photo direct the viewer’s eyes to central point of interest.

            Order can also be seen in patterns. Lines reveal patterns. The mountain range and sky in the photograph from Rocky Mountain National Park demonstrate how lines create patterns. The repeating patterns are seen in the lines displayed in the mountain peaks and in the clouds bring order in the photograph.

Order in Our Art and Our Lives

Five fall colored red blueberry leaves above a snow covered ground.

Even a line slightly out of place can ruin the forms in a photograph. One leaf of this blueberry bush crosses over another interrupting the smooth flow of the patterns. Just as in our lives one area of sin may interfere with our relationship with God.

            When we remember that God is a God of order our photographic art will demonstrate order. It makes sense that not only our art should be in order, but also our lives. The Bible calls us to order our lives according to His word. Psalm 119:105 says, “From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” His word gives us a path—a line—to follow in life. Let’s treasure that word as a precious piece of art. “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11.

           Now it’s your turn. Go and get some great lines shots. I’d love to see what you’ve shot. Email me you photos at

Click for part one and two of this series. Please note: Your retain full rights to your photos. I will not use them in anyway without written permission from you. By sending me an email you will be subscribing to my photography email list. You will receive an update when I make a new photo tips post. Thank you.

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Photo Tip: Using Lines to Bring Order to Your Photos — 8 Comments

  1. i want to learn more about photography, but most thank you for sharing the word of God, God bless and more power

    • Mildred, Thanks for your comment. I hope you find my post help in becoming a better photographer and in growing in your relationship with God.

  2. Thank you for your helpful tips about photography relating God’s art to our own lives. Surely everything we do is in accordance with His will. I thank you once again.

  3. Thanks for the tip, I love taking photos of nature, I feel close to God in nature. Have a blessed day and thank you for sharing your awesome photos and God’s word!

    • I love to take pictures especially nature because I feel the presence of God.
      Thank you for sharing and incorporating verses of the bible.