Guiding a viewer through your images is part of the skill in developing as a photographer and can be a huge part of getting powerful compositions. But how does a photographer “draw the eye?”
Truth is there are MANY ways, but here are three basic ones that you can work on today in your photos.
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- Find a bright spot – the human eye is drawn to brightness (rather than shadow) in any image. A bright spot among darker elements will always draw the eye.
- Find a colourful spot – a bright splash of colour in a specific part of the image can also be used to draw the eye to a particular part of the composition. Particularly if the rest of the image is coloured quite differently.
- Find a contrasting spot – this kind of overlaps with the two tips above, but anything that contrasts with the surrounding elements of the image can also be used to draw the eye. Colour and brightness are two obvious examples, but you can also use subject selection – for example, a child in a group of adults or a cat in a sea of dogs would work.
Take a look at the image above by Julia Caesar to see an example of what we mean. It uses all three of these elements to draw the viewer’s eye to the person in the image. There are a few exposure problems, but the bright, colourfully dressed person who contrasts against the epic landscape most definitely draws the eye. You cannot help but look straight at them!
Now, these elements are very useful, but this is only the beginning of how you can use compositional elements for more powerful images.
Take a look at Advanced Composition if you want to take your composition skills to the next level.