Use Psychology to take Better Pictures:
By understanding how the brain works when it first sees an image, you can produce more engaging pictures regardless of which phone, tablet or camera you use.
As you look at a picture for the first time, you’re eyes dart around the image like a psychology-powered scanner, all the while the brain is interpreting the information and building up an understanding of the information contained in the picture…or reading the picture if you will.
It happens in a fraction of a second, without you even realizing it, but by understanding what the brain does you’ll start to get an insight as to why some images are striking and most just don’t leap out.
Contain the eye:
Firstly, your eye is drawn to the brightest or most colorful part of the picture, then the eye starts to wander around to see what else there is to see.
So by controlling the light on your subject, which sometimes can be as simple as moving them a little, you can make them the focus of the picture.
Another trick is to keep corners dark or free of important details, it keeps our eyes from wandering off the edges.
Control the mood:
If you read English you usually start at the top left, and work our way to the bottom right.
At the very least, we read an image from left to right.
This makes the left of the picture the past and the right is the future, so, if your subject is looking or facing left it has a retrospective feel and right is more optimistic. Sounds crazy, but it’s true and you can use this to set the tone of the picture.
Questions in the shadow:
Finally our eyes look into the dark areas, though this only happens if you’re still curious enough to see what is in the shadows; if the composition is weak you might have moved onto another picture before the eyes get a chance.
Artists and painters discovered that the inclusion of an s-shape or even a backward “S” is aesthetically pleasing and helps keep the viewers attention for longer (the Venus de Milo is the proud owner of an S-shaped body according to art critics).
Here is an article on this very subject:
If God was a photographer – Advanced composition
Everyone is unique and we each see the world though our own special lens so to speak, but have a look at the three images below and try to become conscious of where your eye starts, where it goes. Can you see any S or reverse S shapes, are there more than one?
Taking it Further:
If you want to start to develop you eye further, you’ll love these articles:
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