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What is the Emphasis?

Try to ensure that everything is included in the frame in some way that supplements and supports (rather than dilutes or confuses) your main theme. The trouble is that photography tends to record too much, so you must be able to stress your chosen main element (or elements) relative to the rest of the picture.

There are several well-proven ways of doing this. One is to choose a viewpoint that makes lines within the picture ‘lead in’ to the main subject. You can also make your center of interest prominent by showing it breaking the horizon or some other strong linear pattern.

Another method of emphasis is to show your main element against a background or framed by foreground, which strongly contrasts in tone or color. Choice of lighting is again important, and camera techniques help to untangle subjects from their surroundings too. Use shallow depth of field if things are at different distances; if one is moving relative to the other try panning.

This places an imaginary grid over the picture area, creating four off-center intersections that tend to be strong locations.

Always remember such a guide but, like working only with a normal angle lens, don’t

let it restrict and cramp your style. Sometimes the formality, or the tension, of your image will be better served if the main element is placed centrally, or against one edge.

A shot can also be given two points of emphasis, and you can attract attention by placing them

at opposite extremes of the frame so that the viewer scans from one to the other, making comparisons, conscious of distance and space. Of course with digital manipulation objects within the photograph and whole areas can be cut out and moved or removed entirely: you will need to learn very precise blending skills to make these kinds of transitions seamless.

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