Photography Tutorials and Articles

Focal Point Part 1

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How important Focal point is

What is the definition of Focal Point?

The dictionary defines it as:

“focal point |?f?k?l ?point|

noun

the point at which rays or waves meet after reflection or refraction, or the point from which diverging rays or waves appear to proceed.

  • the centre of interest or activity: almost every sizeable city can have a junior college that can act as a focal point for cultural activity.”

How is Focal Point defined in photography? Why is it important? 

A focal point is the part of an image which draws the viewer’s eye to the most important part of the image or to an area you want to highlight. How you do this will make or break the final image. If you want to create images which capture and hold viewers interest (and who doesn’t want to do this?) the clearest advice I can give you is to learn to create well defined focal points in your photography.

In any discussion about the use of focal points each of us has our own personal interests and tastes. Therefore creating a fixed rule for focal points is next to impossible.  However it is possible to use other photography rules and techniques to help you establish clear focal points, as defined by your own unique point of view and vision.  In this series of articles I am going to shed some light on popular practices which many pro photographers use to create a focal point in their images.

In the picture below you will not find an obvious focal point. The lack of focal point not only takes away from the beauty of the scene, it also makes the viewer wonder where to look.

Focal Point

There is no Focal Point in this image.

Alternatively, in the picture below the brightness of the subject clearly establishes a focal point of interest for viewers to notice right away.

Focal Point

The brightness of the tree attract the eyes and I used it as a focal point for this image

 

That is all for now. Stay tuned for more articles in this series about focal points as I will cover several different techniques for you. In our Fall Outdoor Photography Class you can practice more with focal points and have the opportunity to discuss them with your instructor. The Fall Outdoor photography Class is scheduled for November 12th as a full day workshop and there are only a few spots are left.

Visit our UPCOMING CLASSES for more editing workshops and camera classes. Let me know if you have questions, I love to hear from you!

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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