Every time I visit the Golden Gate I admire this rusty cracked chain that runs along the walk. When I created this image I sought to draw attention first to the chain, using it as a lead in to the bridge itself. Using foreground elements in this way creates a chain of interest (get it?) that makes it difficult for your viewers eyes to wander from the frame. Try it yourself. Your eyes are drawn to the chain, follow down the line, back up the sweeping bridge supports and then from the top to the bottom of the towers before being grabbed once again by the interest of the chain. It is actually somewhat difficult to force yourself to see it in any other way. Using leading lines when composing landscape or urban images like this one is one of the most powerful tools you can utilize when building a composition. If you are composing your image with purpose, (and you should) lining up the elements of the photo in a way that directs the viewers attention and most importantly, does not allow their eyes to wander from the frame is crucial. Many times I will look at what would otherwise be a great image, only to have my attention caught by a lone element angling out of the frame subtracting greatly from the interest you are hoping to display and the attention of the viewer you are hoping to hold. One single element like a tree branch, a sloping foreground, leaning trees or severe distortion will kill your opportunity to share your image with the viewer because before they got a chance to invest the time in looking, they were distracted or redirected by one of these out of place elements.
Composition is everything. Take the time to think carefully when building your compositions. If an element of the photo does not lead your eyes to another place in the image or your eyes fall on a single place in the image and get stuck for too long, remove the distraction and choose a different composition. You'll be glad you did.
Check Out My Profile for information on prints, licensing & our 2012 workshop schedule. There is just under a month left to get the 2011 $50 off pricing.
Please do not use my images on blogs, personal or professional websites, or any other digital media without my explicit permission. Thank you.