How To Guide The Eye Through Photos
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Beginner's Tutorial: Lines, Paths And Direction - Take a look at our top tips for creating pleasing lines for the eye to follow in shots.
Why Do It?Basically, when you look at a photo, your eye is naturally drawn to a certain point and to make sure the viewer of your shot focuses on the right spot in your image, you can create a "path" for the eye to follow through the scene. This won't work for every shot but do consider it before hitting the shutter button.
What Works?When shooting outdoors, there are lots of elements that can be used to achieve this effect fairly easily. Lines in fields, roads and fences, streams and paths are just a few of the things you can use to guide the eye through a shot. The image below illustrates this well, with the lines leading the eye through the image to the castle in the background.
For tips on using converging verticals and lines, read this tutorial: When Are Converging Verticals And Lines A Good Thing?
If using lines won't work, try using blur to guide the eye to a particular point of focus. For example, this could mean using a shallow depth of field to make your person 'pop' from the frame. For more tips on using apertures creatively, have a look at this tutorial: Creative Aperture / Depth Of Field
We also have this tutorial with a few focusing tips to get you thinking about your photography more creatively: Think About Your Focus
Moving ObjectsIf you are photographing moving objects, consider which way they are heading. For example, if the object is on the left side of your shot and heading out of the frame, rather than into the centre, this will ultimately lead the eye away from the main body of the image and can also frustrate the viewer with its mystery destination. Having the object, or objects, heading towards the middle of the frame will make the image more pleasing to the eye and will stop the object from guiding the viewer's eye out of frame. For more tips, take a look at this tutorial: Looking/Moving Space
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