Emphasis & Focal Point

How to be the center of attention

In this lesson, we will discover what visual elements draw our attention and how we can use those effectively in our images.

Chapter 3: Emphasis & Focal Point

In this lesson, we will discover what visual elements draw our attention and how we can use those effectively in our images.

Audio Commentary

I've included this audio recording which will guide you through the text and the lesson. Please listen to it as you go over Chapter 3.

Video Summary

This video does a great job of quickly summarizing some of the principles from this chapter.

Depth of Field

In photography, certain elements literally become the focal point based on what the lens is focused on. "Depth of Field" refers to the range that is in focus. Therefore a narrow depth of field allows very little of the image to be in focus whereas a wide depth of field allows much more to be in focus. For example, if both the background and a subject that is very near to the camera are both in focus, that would be a wide depth of field.

This concept also causes our attention to go to what is focused on. Imagine if this entire photo was in focus. The boy who is currently in focus may not be nearly as attention-grabbing.

Here is another example using depth of field. Even though all of these lego Storm Troopers are visually nearly identical, it is the focus of the lens that brings our attention to one in particular.

Eye Tracking Heat Map

There are tools that will literally track people's eye movement and show on the screen where their eyes spend the most time focused on. Here you can see what elements people focus the most attention on. 

Some paid services exist to help web designers to see what parts of their website draw the most attention. That can be very valuable information when striving to have the most affective site layout possible when it determines how many sales or conversion you will get.

Questions?

As always, please email me if you have any questions! jearley1@ivytech.edu