Focal Point Attract the Eye of the Viewer

When composing a picture, one of my own priorities is the focal point or centre of interest. The focal point is where the eye of the viewer first lands. The challenge is to unite what I intend to be the focal point and what the viewer is first drawn to!

An excellent example is the eye. It's human nature that the viewer will seek out the eye — we do it all the time. We make eye contact with others.

Since auto focus cameras have become so popular, the instinct is to use the central focus area in the viewfinder and aim it at the focal point of your idea. Usually this reflects what the viewer would seek out.

Another golden guideline of composition, and one that I agree with more often than not, is to place the focal point off to one side instead of in the centre of the frame.

A picture will fail if the viewer cannot find anything of interest to look at. Eyes seek a resting place.

fig. 7.4 This Hawkfish was so at ease with our intrusion it allowed us both to get close and for me to compose the focal point of the image — the centre of interest — 'the eyes' off to one side and in the area of the 'thirds intersections'.

Nikon D300, Tokina 10—17 mm at the 17 mm end, f16 at 1/45th sec, ISO 200, two Inon Z220 flashguns placed close in on each side of my dome port facing outwards. I had time to realign my flashguns to catch the two sets of eyes but I backed off and made these adjustments away from the Hawkfish. Shaab Claudio, southern Red Sea.

fig. 7.4 This Hawkfish was so at ease with our intrusion it allowed us both to get close and for me to compose the focal point of the image — the centre of interest — 'the eyes' off to one side and in the area of the 'thirds intersections'.

Nikon D300, Tokina 10—17 mm at the 17 mm end, f16 at 1/45th sec, ISO 200, two Inon Z220 flashguns placed close in on each side of my dome port facing outwards. I had time to realign my flashguns to catch the two sets of eyes but I backed off and made these adjustments away from the Hawkfish. Shaab Claudio, southern Red Sea.

fig. 7.5 By Sylvia Edge. The Hawkfish depicted in Fig. 7.4 was with a Fuji finepix F40 fd zoomed to 24 mm 1/100th sec at f5.1. Sylvia has composed with a slight diagonal tilt and the centre of interest (the eye) off-centre and has included in the composition a little of the 'base; the orange sponge, which the fish was resting on.

Digital Photography Mastery

Digital Photography Mastery

Insider Secrets Revealed By the Pro Showing You How to Become a Professional Photographer! Discover The Secret Tips & Techniques On How To Be A Professional Photographer, Start Producing High Quality Pictures and Skyrocket Your Photography Business Income Revenue To The Roof TODAY! You're About to Discover the Powerful Strategies and Method to Start Taking Sharp, Clear and High Quality Pictures Like the Professional Photographer Without Paying a Single Penny to the Expert!

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment