Exposed! :: Mary Primary and Scott Secondary ::
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She's someone you can't help but notice. She's always vying to be the center of attention. He's the strong, silent type. Quiet, handsome, happy to stand on the sidelines. He adds to the party but doesn't overpower the fun. Together they make a powerful couple.
I am talking, of course, about a photo's primary and secondary focal points. In this month's Exposed! we meet Mary Primary and Scott Secondary of the photo world and consider why you should include them in your photos!
Let me first introduce the attention seeker - Mary - aka Mary Primary. She is the primary focal point. You immediately recognize her as the centre of attention. She is hard to miss and tugs at your eye when you first look at the photo. Without her you might get lost, asking yourself, "What's the point of this photo?" and "Where am I supposed to look?" Mary Primary sets up your photo and gives it direction.
Scott - aka Scott Secondary is the supporting actor - the secondary focal point. He plays a minor but important role in developing your photo's identity. He will add information, balance the playing field and support the point Mary Primary is trying to make. Placed well, he adds impact to the visual story.
Mary and Scott can represent any element in the photo - human or otherwise. Mary Primary is a powerful player and can achieve ample impact as a solo player. Sometimes, though, two 'people' can create more than twice the impact. And this is where Scott Secondary is asked to enter the scene.
How do you make Mary the primary focal point? How do you set her up to demand your eyeball's gaze?
There are a number of possibilities:
To increase Mary's presence stack these elements together. She will be impossible to miss!
How do you create Scott, the secondary focal point? How does he register a solid second? Easy - use the same elements above while making sure not to upstage Mary!
Mary Primary is very capable. She doesn't always need the support of a handsome back-up. Sometimes, though, Scott can add the extra zest that will make your viewers smile wider. He should be invited to participate when:
Your task this month is to look at photos from a magazine. As you quickly flip pages circle Mary and Scott in each picture. You should be able to peg the primary and (possibly) secondary subjects instantly. Spend only one second per photo. Keep circling until it comes naturally. Next time you are creating photos take time to place Mary and Scott appropriately!
What can I say? In the world of stock and assignment work elements of
composition become second nature.
Look out for Mary and Scott. She's a powerhouse. He's worth his weight in gold. Acting alone or as a pair they can help you create better pictures!
Take photos. Have fun!