Focal Points In Composition: What, Why and Hows’

Focal Points in Composition: WHAT, WHY and HOWs’
Focal Points in Composition: WHAT, WHY and HOWs’

The importance of focus points and composition in photography cannot be overstated. They have a tremendous impact on the message we want to convey. This post will show you how to use focus points to enhance your photography. The focal point of a picture is the aspect of the work that catches the viewer’s attention. The Rule of Thirds, which states that the main point should not be in the centre of the frame but rather in the grids or intersections of a 33-square grid, may be utilised to generate better images.

The most common way to get negative space is to employ an empty (or almost empty) area. Use strong light and colour contrast to draw attention to your focus point. Choose components with a strong visual weight as your main point. Some items have a greater visual weight than others. Human figures are one of these elements that serve as fantastic focal points.

Because we gaze into the eyes of everyone we meet, they are tremendous focus points. Landscape photography employs narrow apertures (high f values) and the hyperfocal distance method. This distance defines where the focus should be put to get the most amount of area in focus, also known as “depth of field.” Choosing the right focal point and emphasising it with the image’s composition can help reinforce the message you want to convey. Use narrow apertures, such as f/11, to keep everyone in focus. Extend the focus area to achieve crisp landscapes. It is feasible to create a powerful picture with several focal points.

In photography, focal points and composition are crucial. They have a significant influence on the message we wish to express. This article will teach you how to utilise focus points in photography to improve your photographs.

What Exactly Is A Focal Point In Photography Composition?

A brief search reveals that the phrase “focal point” has various meanings. I’m going to concentrate on the one about composition.

Focus points in art and photography are comparable in this way. It is the element of a work (or image) that draws the viewer’s attention, the image’s focal point.

It is critical to choose the appropriate focal point. It has a significant influence on how the spectator perceives the picture. Photographers use it to say to the spectator, “Look here, here is what I want to show you!” The audience will get confused if you do not pick the focal point carefully. They won’t understand what you’re trying to say.

There is a technical aspect to the focal point. You must understand how to use your camera to choose a focus point and decide whether to shoot in manual mode or one of the autofocus modes. Once you’ve mastered the technical aspect (which, with a little practise, you will), you’ll be faced with the major question. Which of the numerous emphasis locations in a scenario should I choose?

Making Use Of Depth Of Field When Using Selective Focus In Your Photographs

A narrow depth of field is an excellent approach to placing the emphasis on your topic. You do this by concentrating on the topic while leaving the rest of the picture hazy. This is because the sharper section of the picture draws the viewer’s attention.

You may get this look by opening up your camera’s aperture (f4 or smaller should work). The greater the impact, the wider the aperture (the lower the f-number). To get the proper exposure for the scene, you will need to alter the shutter speed and/or ISO. It’s much more effective if your subject is further away from the backdrop.

The most essential thing here is to carefully choose your topic. It is simple to guide the spectator to the incorrect location in the scene. Before pushing the shutter release, take a minute to consider where you want to position your focus point.

Positioning The Focus Point For Better Compositions

The placement of your subject in the frame is also important in selecting the focal point. Follow basic composition standards to create better photographs.

One example is the Rule of Thirds. Don’t put the focal point in the middle of the frame. Instead, place it in the grids or intersections of a 33-square grid. Leading lines may also be used. Arrange the picture such that a line finishes at the place of interest. The line will be followed by the viewer until it reaches the topic you wish to display.

This necessitates some study of the surroundings and the search for lines. It becomes easier with time and experience. You may draw lines on a roadway, a train, or even a wall.

The simplest technique to draw attention to your topic is to simplify the arrangement of the scene. Create a lot of negative space around the topic to eliminate any distractions. The most frequent method for obtaining negative space is to use an empty (or nearly empty) region. It might be the sky, a wall, grass, a body of water, or anything else. Your topic will seem defined and distinct!

Highlight The Focus Point Using Bright Contrast

Bright objects attract our attention. Placing the focal point in the brighter areas ensures that your reader sees it as the most significant aspect of the picture.

When capturing the photograph, look for locations with significant light contrast and position your subject there. When the light is harsh, this sort of contrast is easier to detect. When the sun is high in the sky (late morning and noon), light enters via an aperture such as a window or through focused artificial light (such as a light post in the night).

To enhance your focal point, employ great light contrast. Also, distracting features should be hidden in dark sections of the scene.

Use Colour Contrast To Draw Attention To Your Focal Point

Color has an important function not only in defining the atmosphere of a picture but also in determining the focal point of the scene. Color contrast is more subtle than light contrast. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t come easily.

With some effort, you will get used to looking for colour pairings. The simpler scenario is to have a scene with just two colours. One serves as the backdrop, while the other serves as your focal point.

Fruit is a simple way to practise this at home. Place a red apple between several yellow apples or a strawberry between kiwi slices. The crimson hue of the fruits will stand out in the background in these cases and serve as a focal point.

After you’ve become acclimated to two colour combinations, you may try more. A single warm hue will serve as the main point amid cool colours, and vice versa.

As Your Focal Point, Choose Elements With A High Visual Weight

When creating a picture, keep in mind that some pieces naturally have a stronger visual weight than others. They will pique the viewer’s interest much more than other things in the scene. This is why they make excellent focus points.

Human figures are one of these aspects. We are more likely to notice a person than a tree, a building, or even an animal. Large items or things with text also catch our attention. Knowing this is beneficial for both exploiting these components as focus points and avoiding them if they are not!

If you’re doing a portrait, you should instruct your model not to wear anything with writing on it. This prevents the clothing from being the focal point! Texture gives visual weight as well. Smooth regions will appear lighter than textured areas. Even orientation has a part. Straight lines have less visual weight than diagonal lines.

You may accentuate your topic by using diagonal lines. However, keep in mind that they might be distracting if they are not the primary issue. Look at a picture with a slanted horizon to observe how this draws all of your attention.

Set The Eyes As Your Focal Point For More Powerful Portraits

Because eyes are so expressive, we automatically stare at them in everyone we encounter. The same thing occurs in a portrait. The eyes are powerful focal points. Make an effort to keep them as sharp as possible. When staring at a portrait with blurry eyes, the spectator may get annoyed.

There is one exception when you wish to highlight other portions of the body. Then you must make this other focal point stand out even more. You may even crop the eyes out of the picture in this scenario.

When creating a group photograph, the eyes are not as important. They are generally a minor component of the frame. Make certain that everyone in a group is smart. When someone seems fuzzy, the spectator interprets it as “less significant.” You don’t want to upset anybody! To keep everyone in focus, use small apertures like f/11.

To Get Sharp Landscapes, Expand The Focus Area

Landscape photographers do not construct their photos with wide apertures (selective focus). They want a large portion of the scene to be crisp in order to display the whole image to the viewer. They use narrow apertures (high f values) and a technique known as hyperfocal distance. This distance determines where the focus should be placed to get the most area in focus, or depth of field.

You will receive photographs with a crisp foreground and background in this situation. This distance is determined by a variety of parameters, including focal length, aperture, and even the size of your camera’s sensor.

Every time you wish to fire, you may use a formula to compute it. Fortunately, we no longer need to perform any arithmetic or examine intricate charts since there are internet tools and applications that do the job for us.

Using A Hierarchy, Create A Strong Image With Multiple Focal Points

What if a scenario has more than one focal point? In many situations, you will discover more than one intriguing topic in your photograph.

This is typical in street photography because there are several items in a frame. It is feasible to create a powerful picture with several focal points. In this instance, you must decide which one will be your major focus point and create a hierarchy of fascinating features.

Give the major idea greater visual weight than the others. This will be the first point to catch the viewer’s attention. The additional focus points will help him navigate the picture.


Choosing the proper focal point and accentuating it with the image’s composition will reinforce the message you want to express to the viewer. Any shot you take will be influenced by how you execute it.

It may take some time at first to consider the location of the focal point in the frame, light or colour contrast, or visual weight. After some practise, you will get used to these ideas, and your work will increase in quality.