Focal Point

December 09, 2012  •  1 Comment

Almost every captivating image has a focal point, something that draws the eye in and doesn't let it get away except to explore the rest of the image.   For an image to be strong it needs to capture the viewers eye and direct it to places you want them to see.  The human eye is drawn toward brightness so if the brightest area is not your main topic try to move or rearrange the elements to subdue the bright area(s).  Simple is usually better than complex in any photograph.  For this image, taken in Three Rivers Petroglyphs State Park in New Mexico, I moved in close with a wide angle lens to make the rock art the strongest subject in the scene.  The rest is subdued by being pushed back, one of the best things about use of wide angle lenses!  Control of perspective is what it is all about in most photographic composition.  The rock art dominates the scene.  Your eye starts there as a "Focal Point" and then traverses out into the balance of the scene to get context, location and place information but in doing so always comes back to the strong central, dominate subject.  The main subject being in shade is somewhat of a drawback for this image but a slider in Lightroom can fix that easily these days.  As it turns out, the petroglyphs photograph OK in shade as long as the area around them is in shade as well.

 

Try this experiment yourself.  Move up close with a wide angle lens and let the subject dominate and subordinate the background.  this technique works well except with people unless it is a relative you dislike and you want them to look weird!

 


Comments

Norine(non-registered)
I'll have to try this. I haven't used our wide angle lens very much, but this article gives me a reason to start! Thanks for posting!
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