Composition Technique: Lead the Viewer Through the Picture

One way to add visual interest in your pictures is to compose the photograph such that the subject or major elements lead the viewer through the photograph, as if the viewer’s eyes are walking through the photograph.

Single Subject Draws the Eyes Through the Frame

One way of achieving this effect is to choose a subject that can grab the viewer’s attention and draw their eyes into the frame, through the frame, and then lead it out of the frame. An example of this technique is the picture of the guard posts and safety chain.

Guard posts and chain

Guard posts and chain: using the subject as a compositional element to lead the viewer’s eyes into the picture, through it, and then out. Late afternoon at Torrey Pines Gliderport, La Jolla, CA. Nikon D5000 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S kit zoom lens.

The chain and closest guard post draw the viewer’s eyes in from the bottom right corner. The viewer’s eyes follow the chain up through the frame and to the left, then back to the right as the eyes continue to draw upwards, and finally out of the frame near the top right corner.

Read on to see another technique…

Continue reading