08 MAIN POINT OF IN­TER­EST

No-one’s go­ing to waste time look­ing at a point­less photo – make sure yours has one

NPhoto - - Special Feature -

What is the point of this im­age? This is a very im­por­tant ques­tion, and one which you should ask yourself ev­ery time you take a photo. Think of the ques­tion both in terms of the over­all point and pur­pose of the im­age, as well as the lit­eral point of in­ter­est in the shot that the eye will go to first. It is crit­i­cal that view­ers can in­stantly tell why the photo was taken. If you are not sure why you are tak­ing the pho­to­graph, the viewer will cer­tainly have no rea­son to look at it closely. This once again goes back to the idea of be­ing as aware as you pos­si­bly can. The im­age needs a pur­pose.

This idea also works in con­junc­tion with the idea of sim­plic­ity. While we are striv­ing to keep the scene within the frame as clean as pos­si­ble, we also need to have a strong point of in­ter­est to grab the at­ten­tion of the viewer. It is this com­bi­na­tion of sim­ple and in­ter­est­ing that makes an im­age work. That is where neg­a­tive space comes into play. Neg­a­tive space is ba­si­cally ‘empty’ space around the main el­e­ments that give the eye a place to ‘rest’. Al­though the main sub­ject or point of in­ter­est is the most im­por­tant as­pect of the shot, com­bin­ing this in­ter­est­ing pos­i­tive space with clean neg­a­tive space is key to cre­at­ing great im­ages.

What is the point of this im­age?… If you are not sure why you are tak­ing the pho­to­graph, the viewer will cer­tainly have no rea­son to look at it closely Dan Bal­lard, Land­scape pho­tog­ra­pher

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