Many people new to photography wish their pictures had more of an impact. Ensuring there is a main point of interest in the composition is a great way to make your photos have just that.
Your first step should be to identify what you would like your main point of interest to be, and then compose around it in a way that will give it prominence. Other details should not be competitors for attention.
These four pictures are self-explanatory. In many cases the main point of interest is obvious, but if it is not, you will have to create one. As you may have read, there are a number of methods to highlight your point of interest, but here are three more that are worth remembering – used in combination or singly depending on the composition.
Frame to Eliminate Distractions and Fill the Frame
A general picture.
A specific picture with impact.
A messy picture.
A clear point of interest.
This is a waterfall.
This is a waterfall!
A cityscape. It’s interesting but…
This is a modern city!
As well as filling the frame, we can also use part of the scene to frame the main point of interest. This has the advantage that the viewer can see more of the whole scene so they can fully appreciate it.
Archways are great.
Using the frame to set the scene.
A natural frame of trees.
Using the building as a frame.
Use Color or Tonal Contrast to Separate Your Subject
Early morning mist.
Color really works as a highlight.
High visibility gear always works really well.
This is a bicycle!
Use Depth of Field
This can be extremely effective.
When depth of field is combined with color the effect is magnified.
Just dropping the background away really highlights the point of interest.
Always remember that your viewer should not have to struggle to decide what your image is all about – the main point of interest should be obvious!
About the author:
Roger Lee is a Johannesburg-based photographic trainer and cruise ship speaker on Smartphone Photography. He runs a “Enjoy Your Camera” course and has eBooks for people who don’t want to drown in detail and just take good images at www.camerabasics.net and www.smartphone.org.za.