“Select a Focal Point”
The focal point of your page should be the central theme you are trying to convey. Everything else should help support or enhance this prime image or thought. Sometimes the photo image is not the focal point . . . it could be the title, a thought or poem, etc. What ever the focal point is it should standout with accents, color or size.
Just like when you shoot an arrow at a target you may be satisfied in just hitting it. Our goal, however, is to try and hit the “bulls eye.” That is what you are trying to do with your focal point.
The obvious focal point in this picture is tree, but it could just as easily be the sunset. What you do with the rest of the page . . . embellishments, journaling, etc. will make a big difference on what the viewer perceives. If you added a poem about sunsets it would direct the viewer more to the sunset. On the other hand, if you had added pictures of trees or a tree house, the viewer would be focused more on the tree.
In the photograph above, what is the focal point? The whole squad? or an individual player . . . like #12 or #22 in the photograph? You have to decide, and then direct your other page elements to draw specific focus to what you have decided. One facet of a picture is not any more important than another unless you make it so–as can be seen by this photo . . . there are choices. You have to decide and then work around your selection.
There are ways of turning one or more of your photographs into a focal point. The focal point lets the reader know where to begin on your page. First and foremost you need photographs that are in focus and well lit . . . making the picture sharp and vivid. From this photo you set the mood and general tenor of your page.
The size of your photograph can draw specific attention to the eye. A large photograph is usually dominant. Given this fact, it may be well to have a favorite snap shot you want to use enlarged. Services like Shutterfly and Kodak can make this process easy.
Matting can also draw attention to the subject matter you are most concerned with. Pick colors that will enhance or complement your photo. You may want to try using different size mats–with different widths. Add extra width to use for journaling. Use varying shapes to add interest and focus . . . like an oval mat on a rectangular photograph.
The use of shapes, as noted above can add interest to a page. With a bit of creativity you can make a rather plain photograph come to life by drawing attention to it. You may find a particular shape in the photograph that can be used to further draw the eye to the photo and its message.
Don’t forget the wise use of accents to help enhance the focal point of your page and the photograph. While accents do help bring attention, you want to be sure the attention you are creating is to the photograph and your theme. Try not to let the accents become the focus.
Following these simple helps should give your photograph the full attention it deserves as you put a page together. As you proceed through your layout process stop and look at it to be sure the focus stays on your focal point photograph you’ve choosen for that page.
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