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How To Create Visual Focal Points Of Your Own

The best way to create visual focal points is to isolate your subject. The fish photo is a great example. The photographer could have put a bunch of other things in the background, but he chose to keep it simple. Nothing else in the image is taking your attention away from the two fish. It’s completely uncluttered. Another great example is the cross below. It’s isolated from the sky by the silhouette.

It really helps when your subject is a different color than the background. Certain background are easier to work with. A blue sky is a definite go-to for creating visual focal points because it is a single color and nothing else. A dense bush might not be such a good choice because it’s a dark and complicated mix of colors. Whatever you are photographing will need to be very bright and colorful in order for it to work.

It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the rule of thirds when you are creating visual focal points. The fish photograph uses the rule of thirds quite well. The big fish occupies the upper left third while the small fish resides in the lower right third.

If you aren’t familiar with the rule of thirds, it’s pretty simple. Just try to place your main subject somewherelighting2 near the lower, upper, left, or right thirds of the scene. When you do this, it tends to transform your subject into a visual focal point. Now you’re getting the hang of composition.

You can have as many visual focal points in your image as you want, but realize that you start to hit an upper limit after you add too many. Remember, the red apple in the first picture is only a visual focal point because it stands out against the green apples. If you were to add in a yellow apple, another red apple, and an orange, the same red apple simply wouldn’t have as big of an impact. Always consider this.

This week, I encourage you to play around with visual focal points. Try to create an image like the two orange fish. Use the big focal point vs. small focal point dynamic and see what you get. Send it my way, and I might do a showcase piece on your work.

Happy Shooting!