Quick Tip: Instantly Improve Your Photos By Guiding The Eye

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens


What Are Courses And Lines And Why Do It?

Basically, when you look at a photo, your eye is naturally drawn to a certain point and to make sure the viewer of your shot focuses on the lawful spot in your image, you can create a "path" for the eye to follow through the scene. This won't work for every shot but do estimate it before hitting the shutter button.


Photo by David Clapp


What To Use As Paths? 

When shooting outdoors, there are apportionments of elements that can be used to achieve this effect fairly easily.

Examples of paths:

  • Lines in crop fields
  • Roads
  • Fences
  • Surges
  • Trails
  • Walking Paths 

These are just a few of the things you can use to guide the eye through a shot. The image above illustrates this well, with the areas leading the eye through the image to the castle in the background.

For tips on using converging verticals and lines, read this tutorial: When Are Meet Verticals And Lines A Good Thing?


Guide The Eye With Blur

If using lines won't work, try using blur to guide the eye to a especially point of focus. For example, this could mean using a shallow depth of field to make your person 'pop' from the trap. For more tips on using apertures creatively, have a look at this tutorial: Creative Aperture / Depth Of Field

We also have this tutorial with a few converging tips to get you thinking about your photography more creatively: Think About Your Focus

Photo by David Clapp –

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Trade Moving Objects may refer to Space

If you are photographing moving objects, consider which way they are heading. For example, if the object is on the left side of your drink and heading out of the frame, rather than into the centre, this will ultimately lead the eye away from the main body of the image and can also thwart the viewer with its mystery destination. Having the object, or objects, heading towards the middle of the frame will make the image more amusing to the eye and will stop the object from guiding the viewer's eye out of frame. For more tips, take a look at this tutorial: Looking/Going Space

You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Photo Month Forum Struggle  


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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