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Chapter 1: A Strong Focal Point  > Main subject versus focal point

Main subject versus focal point

Fortunately, centuries of artistic expression have given us a few useful rules for good composition to help with those decisions. One of the most important compositional rules to know and understand is this: The viewer’s eye always goes to the brightest part of a scene.

It has to do with genetic information encoded in our DNA that’s been passed down through millennia of human evolution. Like moths to a flame, our eyes are drawn to anything shiny, white, sparkly, or bright, so be certain that the brightest parts of your compositions are worthy of the attention they will receive.

In the grand scheme of a photograph, the brightest object becomes the focal point by default. Watch out for distracting bright spots around your subject. Even a tiny speck of sunlight peeking through tree leaves that goes unnoticed in the viewfinder can have a negative impact on the final image. This results in the unintended consequences of pulling attention away from the main subject and creating a visual conflict in the composition.


  

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