The S curve is a busy compositional tool, because it can do more than just add a touch of grace to our composition. It can also suggest motion. Before photography was even invented, painters were employing the S curve and the Fibonacci Sequence to enhance their art.
Once you start to visualize it successfully, you will find it difficult to unsee S curves and Golden Ratios everywhere you go.
Leading Lines and the Fibonacci Sequence
Leading lines are primarily used to guide the viewer’s gaze toward something within the frame. However, they may also point toward something that is outside the frame, with elements in the image leading you to believe something is there and important.
You can combine leading lines with other compositional tools. For instance, an S curve country lane can bring the viewer’s attention to the cottage at the end of that lane (see that last set of images above). Or, change camera position to accentuate the Golden Ratio within the scene.
These lines can be straight lines or curves, and often they are implied. (An implied line is one that is interrupted in places or composed of different elements coming together, but still leads the eye in a strong direction.) It doesn’t matter what the line is made of, as long as it leads the viewer to something. Along the way, leading lines may create the spiral of a Fibonacci Sequence.
Try to visualize the spiral in this picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. It starts in the hills toward the right and continues over the span of the bridge, curving into the detailed archway on the very bottom left. This is another one of those times when the Golden Ratio is not perfect, but enough of it is in the image to result in a strong visual flow.