We are often advised to just wander around searching for inspiration and to shoot what moves us. This is sage advice, but once you discover that source of inspiration, how do we best showcase it?
When it comes to creating an image that resonates, it’s important to understand what your focal point, or topic of interest, is and how to best highlight it in the image. We want what captured your eye to capture others’ attention, too. Here are a few tricks to try:
Employ the Rule of Thirds: The rule of thirds is a basic photography composition concept that states one should view the image in a grid with three horizontal and three vertical lines. You will have nine equal boxes and your subject should fall in one of the four areas where the two lines intersect. This allows you to create a visually interesting image with the viewer’s eye naturally drawn to your primary subject.
Contrast Colors: A using strong color contrast in an image is a powerful way to highlight your focal point. Color can be used in a number of ways; for example, choosing one uniquely colored flower in a soft background or in reverse with a bold background and a muted subject. Either strategy can create stunning results.
Try Textures: Using a background of texture, such as a repeating pattern of stone or brick, can elevate your subject to a new level. Consider scouting a local park or travel downtown where buildings and sidewalks can provide rich texture for your focal point.
Use Depth of Field: Learning how to manipulate depth of field takes a bit of practice but is a very common and extremely effective method of highlighting your subject. Being able to blur the background while keeping the subject sharp immediately draws the eye.
Keep It Clean: Make sure that the background you’ve chosen isn’t busy with numerous secondary subjects that can distract the eye. Test your vision by checking how often your eye is drawn to other items outside of your primary subject. The background should complement, not compete with, your primary focal point.
As you continue to experiment with this process, your style will evolve and your technique will improve. You’ll soon begin showcasing your own unique perspective.