By Scott Shephard
My wonderful mother-in-law tells me that if my blog post is about technical things, she doesn't read the post. I'm guessing she's not alone. So, for those of you who aren't so much into photography, thanks for looking. But you can go now. Oh, before you go, you are looking at the Birch Bayh Federal Building in Indianapolis.
For the handful of people still left, I've got a question: What is the focal point of this photo? The correct answer should be the sitting robed figure in the lower left. If you had some other answer, then this photo fails. I think that most good photos engage the eye and the intellect. But while there is much to look at there is only one thing to see.
I've done three things to make the statue the focal point. First, I've turned the photo to black and white. Bright colors, like red, orange and yellow draw the eye. (It's no accident that emergency vehicles and emergency uniforms use those colors.)
The second thing I've done is to ensure that the statue is the brightest point in the photo. For some reason, buried deep in our psychology, we see the brightest element in a scene first. Brides wear white partly as a symbol. But they also dress in white (and grooms black) because there is then no question about whom we will look at first at the wedding.
Finally, I've framed and cropped this photo very carefully so that elements in the photo draw your eye to the focal point. (Check out the annotated photo below.) They are called "leading lines." The lines may be real or implied. In this photo, the architecture surrounding the statue does much to help me.
So ends the photo lesson. Thanks for reading. And looking. And seeing.
Canon 5DIII 1/90s f/4.5 ISO400 58mm