In the last few blogs I discussed how the vanishing point draws your attention in a photo, and about how the diagonal rule helps you create leading lines. Similarly, the line of sight of the people you photograph can also grab viewers’ attention.
In most cases, people ask their subjects to look at the camera when taking portraits, thinking that the picture will look nicer with this kind of “eye-contact.” But that is arguable. Let’s look at Photo 2 in which you can find the dancer looking straight at the camera. Do you think that Photo 2 is more interesting than Photo 1 (the subject here did not make eye contact with the camera)? In my opinion, Photo 2 is kind of dull compared with Photo 1. Look again at Photo 1. You can see people sitting behind the dancer looking at her, while the dancer is looking at someone or something off-frame. The line of sight goes from central left, to right top, and back to the left off-frame. That’s why it draws your attention, and explains why a simple gaze of the subject into the camera in Photo 2 is less intriguing.
Photo 3 again shows you how dull a photo is when the subject is simply “looking into the camera.” However, if this gaze is accompanied by something different, like this girl at the right talking to other kids, it may be able to grab your attention. That’s why Photo 4 is interesting, apart from the good-looking face of the little girl.
|Photo 1||Photo 2||Photo 3||Photo 4|
|Camera||Canon EOS 5D||1||1||1||1|
|Lens||EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM||1||1||1||1|