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Archive 2013 · A final Coastal Sunset
Oregon Gal
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · A final Coastal Sunset

I believe this will be the last one for this set. Thanks for looking and offering suggestions for improvement, Barbara

Jan 19, 2013 at 06:55 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · A final Coastal Sunset

It has a perceptually compelling contrasting focal point but it's not interesting. When the eye wanders off it to explore the rest of the frame nothing of interest is found there as a "Easter Egg hunt" payoff for looking at the photo.

An example of an "Easter Egg" would be a surfer on the crest of the wave to the right. He's actually be the main focal point with the rock on the left which will be seen first due to it's contrast becomes a diversion very similar to a pause in a joke before delivering an unexpected punchline.

Waiter there's a fly in my soup... creates a different reaction than "Waiter, what is this fly doing in my soup?" <pause> "Well sir it appears to be the backstroke"...

Some not noticed at first detail like the surfer or a sailboat would create a similar reaction / reward here. In terms of emotional reaction in the mind of the viewer it isn't that its a great scenic or a great shot of the surfer, it's the discovery of some unexpected detail not noticed at first in a photo you'd already decided was pretty boring and a waste of time looking at.

Timing is everything in telling a story; whether it's verbal, written, or visual. Controlling eye movement from context to focal point "punchline" is what creates the timing of how content is discovered and processed in a photo and why photos that pull the eye over context to a focal point with the "rule" of thirds usually work better than those like yours here where the focal point is seen first and then then wanders off into the context. Centered compositions work best when there's no context needed by providing no clues where to look next. Absent any clue the attention stays on the focal point instead of wandering off it

The exception to general rule of making the focal point contrast strongly to pull the eye to it first is the "Easter Egg" where the obvious PERCEPTUAL focal point (what contrasts the most) is just a diversion used to delay the discovery the STORYTELLING focal point that completes the story in the mind of the viewer. I had an "Easter Egg" focal point in mind when composing these shots:

Both are unremarkable at first glance. In the first the message that is was really hot that day is hidden under the wing. In the second the idea that little harbor town in the Philippines is laid back is conveyed by the sleeping dog. If the dog was black and contrasted as a perceptual focal point it wouldn't create the same delayed reaction to the content.

Jan 19, 2013 at 03:30 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · A final Coastal Sunset

Another beautifully colored sky and interesting location image. Dont know what you have "below" but it feels cut off at the bottom.

Jan 19, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Oregon Gal
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · A final Coastal Sunset

Chuck, thanks for your suggestions and I added some foreground on the lower right which helps the eye move around the image.

Scott, I get what your saying about the image feeling cut off. I cropped the bottom portion as I wasn't terribly fond of the rocks in the foreground, which I cropped to tight on in the original, so I did a quick re-work adding a little more to the bottom. While it's better, I am not sure if it works.

Jan 20, 2013 at 05:46 AM

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