A blog that focuses on the photography of Dean J. Birinyi, an interior and architectural photographer based in San Francisco, CA.

Tricks of the Trade: Photographic Composition: Circular Motion

Dean J. Birinyi Photogrpahy Ciruclar Motion in Photographic Composition Illustrated
Circular Motion

The goal of circular motion is to direct the viewers eye into the image from the frame edge and keep the viewers eye moving around the image without exiting the frame.

In this image the viewers eye is directed into the frame by the towels and counter edge; this is the “Entrance Point.” 
The line of the towels and counter draw the eye deeper into the image.
The vertical element of the towel combined with its warm color draws the eye up to the top of the frame.
The reflection in the mirror along with the contrast of the bottles draws the eye across the frame.
The vertical line of the dark bottle draws the eye down to the counter edge which starts the process all over again.

There are no powerful lines or features that lead the eye out of the image, every feature of the image causes the viewers eye to move through the image to the next feature and keeps it focused within the frame.

This circular motion creates an active image that has life rather than a static image that just sits on the page.

You achieve this circular motion through focusing the viewers attention on specific design features and strategic placement of styling elements. If you approach this challenge in a systematic manner the result is not difficult to achieve, if you do the best you can you’ll do better than if you hadn’t tried at all.


Check out my other Tricks of the Trade articles on my blog by following these links: