The Subtle Art Of Drawing Attention In Photography

Photography is an art. Photographers do not simply press the shutter and take a photo. A lot goes into the making of a great photograph.

Learning how to draw the viewer’s attention and focus it on a specific focal point is crucial.

As you know, composition tends to play a major role in drawing attention. The positioning of a subject in a photograph can make a big difference. This, however, is not the only thing that will attract the viewer to a specific point.

Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways to focus attention inside a frame.

1. Leading Lines

When it comes to photography techniques, both professionals and novices need to learn how to master leading lines. In terms of being in control of the viewer’s focus, leading lines are often considered to have a significant impact – sometimes even more than other techniques or concepts available

Leading lines is a term used to describe a set of lines in a photograph. The lines are positioned in such a way to lead the focus toward the primary subject of the photo.

For example, a river may be used as a leading line, leading the eye toward a waterfall. Train tracks and roads are also good examples of leading lines that can be used in a photograph.

When you learn how to master leading lines in your shots, it can make a huge difference in ensuring the viewer can be directed to the frame’s subject.

2. Contrast

Contrast is another important aspect of great images. At the same time, sometimes you may want to play around with the contrast of the image. In such a case, it may be possible to use this particular characteristic to draw attention to a subject.

When contrast is not balanced, it can ultimately affect the overall quality of the photo

There are a few ways that contrast can be used to benefit a photo. In particular, the idea is to use contrast to draw out a subject in the frame.

One example would be a shot with trees. The background may include a view of the sky or the ocean. The trees are the subjects you want to draw attention to but can quickly fade with the background, larger in size.

By adjusting the contrast of the trees, it is possible to achieve a look that will create a focal point in that particular area.

3. Saturation And Color

Colors that can be observed in a photograph offers another excellent strategy for controlling the viewer’s focus. Brighter colors are often found to create more attention compared to more muted and subdued ones. You can use this to your advantage.

Areas of a photo that require more attention can be brightened up. Vivid colors are a great way to create an area of importance and focus. With this in mind, focusing on subjects that are vivid and bright might be an effective strategy. The saturation and vibrance can also be adjusted in post-processing, which would also be a way of drawing out the subject.

Areas that require less attention should not be as vivid as the primary subject. When the entire photograph features vivid imagery, it will be too “busy,” thus creating confusion.

4. Focus

Focus is another factor that would affect attention in a photograph. When the subject is out of focus, attention is drawn to secondary subjects or background. With this in mind, it is important to focus on a subject before taking the shot.

When looking at focus, we should also mention blur effects. When there is a lot of noise in a shot’s background, creating a smaller focus point that sits on the subject can help. This will cause a slight blur (bokeh) in the background while still ensuring the subject remains sharp (often referred to as “3d pop”.)

5. Symmetry

When talking about symmetry, what often comes to mind is a mirror image – but with photography, things do not have to be the same on both sides.

Many people find that using two different subjects that are positioned in such a way to create symmetry offers effective results. However, in some cases, taking a symmetrical shot featuring a mirrored image can also create a unique effect. This particular effect can create leading lines, for example, which carry the attention from certain points of the image to the subject.


Photography requires careful analysis of an environment and then perfect positioning of a camera to get the right shot. By better understanding a few techniques and concepts, you can gain more control over how a photo is viewed. I hope you found the tips in this article useful and that they will help you improve your compositions!