Using Elements of Composition to Focus our Viewer’s Attention

Using Elements of Composition to Focus our Viewer’s Attention

Plumeria on Step ThailandAs visual artists and photographers, we often try to focus or draw the viewer’s attention to certain areas or elements of our image. For example, in the above photograph, I have attempted to focus your attention on the Plumeria blossom in four ways:

  • The Rule of Thirds (click the link for a detailed explanation). The center of the blossom is at the intersection of the upper third horizontal line and the right hand third vertical line.
  • Clarity or focus. Our eye is naturally drawn to what is sharp and clear to us – to what we readily understand. The blossom is relatively sharp while the focus of the rest of the image is soft.
  • The value of light. When we look at an image our eye is drawn to the lighter, brighter values first.
  • Simplicity. Good photographs concentrate on a few basic elements. By highlighting only those components that add to your composition, you can focus the viewer’s attention precisely where you want it. Busy backgrounds are distracting.

While I do not claim this is a good photograph, I believe I was able to focus your attention where I wanted to by using a few basic elements of composition while making the image.

Check out Jake’s Sunday post to further focus your attention.

Ron Mayhew

Fine Art Photographer specializing in Still Life and Commercial Photography.

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. Great commentary and beautiful image! 😀

    1. Not so sure about that, but thank you. 🙂

  2. Thank you!! Every tip is useful to those of us who are just learning:-)

    1. Thank you Jeanette, for your kind comment.

  3. Beautiful composition and thanks for sharing some tips. 🙂

    1. You are welcome and thank you for visiting.

  4. This is amazing captured my friend , I really love it ,Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. very nice, and i love plumerias! i have a young transplant in the yard and look forward to when it blooms! z

    1. Me too. We have a three different colors in our yard, but I took this photo in Bangkok.

      1. ah! three! lucky you! i think the one i have is pink, but my favorite is the highly-fragrant white.

  6. Clever take on the challenge Ron! And the photo IS very good 🙂

    1. Thanks Madhu. I consider that a compliment coming from you.

  7. There’s a story there–very lovely and evocative.

    1. Thank you Naomi and thank you for visiting.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: