Teachable Photos

A successful photo needs interesting content and a good composition to organize it. Composing around a strong center of interest is one way to accomplish that but what if you don't have a strong center of interest?

I like to differentiate between center of interest, primary interest and structural center.

Center of interest: The all-important part of an image to which all other elements are supportive and do not generate distraction.

The primary interest is the most interesting content in your photo. It doesn't matter where it is located. It can be a small object like a heron or it can be scattered over a large area like the colorful leaves in this photo.

The structural center describes the important center of your composition that you organize around. The content of the structural center does not have to be important. It is just a compositional element used to organize the chaos.

This photo utilizes a primary interest, the multicolored leaves. The composition uses the knot in the tree trunk as a structural center to organize everything in relation to. Without the tree trunk we just have an unorganized mass of leaves.   >>