Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Focal point

Every image should have a clearly defined focal point.
When you look at a picture, you quickly (and without thinking about it) scan the image and your eyes rest on a point. In portraits, this is usually the eyes.
The focal point of a landscape is usually the brightest spot of the image (the sun for example.)

While I was framing this shot, there was a clear focal point, the cars head lights OR the lightning.
(I was yet to capture them both at the same time)
So the images were good. It had a clear focal point and it was interesting.

I took hundreds of exposures before I caught the lightning and cars passing simultaneously.
I was ecstatic, I even changed our Facebook status!
I ran inside and pulled up my images in bridge to check them out.
As soon as I saw the image, i realized that the lightning actually HURT the image!!

Close your eyes, then look at the picture. You will notice your eyes bouncing from the lightning, to the the car lights. There is no good focal point, your eyes don't know where to rest.

I quickly "photoshopped" the lightning out so you could see the difference.
With no lightning, your eyes immediately find the focal point.

Moral of the story, make sure your images have a clear focal point. Your eyes should quickly rest on a single spot. Lines (such as moving headlights) help draw your eyes to the focal point.

So what do you think. Lightning or no lightning??