focal point

Focal Point Part 1

How important Focal point is

What is the definition of a Focal Point?

The dictionary defines it as:

“focal point |?f?k?l ?point|


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

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

In any discussion about using focal points, each of us has our 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 unique point of view and vision.  In this series of articles, I will shed some light on popular practices that 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 a 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 subject’s brightness establishes a focal point of interest for viewers to notice right away.

Focal Point
The tree’s brightness attracts 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.

Do you want to use the creativity of the focal point?

One of the many ways to create a strong focal point is using highlights and shadows. Chasing Shadows is a unique photography class that teaches you the power of the Ansel Adams Zone System. Learning the Zone System enables you to capture outstanding images and showcasing the main subjects using the light pattern.

Our next Chasing Shadows workshop starts on June 5, 2021. It is a five-part program and includes field trips and lots of hands-on.

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Ted and the Omnilargess Team


Event Venue Date
Full Day Camera Course Backbone Office
  • April 6, 2024 9:00 am
Omnilargess Beginner Photography Bootcamp Backbone Office
  • June 1, 2024 9:00 am
Tofino to Ucluelet Tour Ucluelet
  • October 18, 2024 6:00 pm
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