Waiting Room, Kaiser Permanente, Hickey Blvd.
Daley City, CA
for Polytech Associates of San Francisco, CA
(click for larger)

One reason why my photographs are so interesting is because I create a smooth visual motion with my compositions. I lead a viewers eye into and around my photographs, this causes the viewer to perceive my images as being active a full of life.

There are a wealth of techniques, or tricks of the trade that can be used to achieve this goal. The image of the hospital waiting room above uses a strong leading line, and diagonals to direct the viewers eye into and across the image in a “Z” like pattern.
  • The seating creates a visual line from the lower left to the middle right.  
  • The contrast of the counter directs the eye to the middle left.
  • The soffit and scalloping of light draws the eye to the right
  • And the painting draws the eye back down to the counter leading the viewer back into the image.
  • The visual anomaly of the occluded artwork is an irresistible draw that appeals to the natural curiosity of the viewer, preventing the eye from following the line of the counter out of the frame.
  • Strategic positioning of the camera placed the wall art and counter to direct the viewers eye back into the image

That is one example of how to create a lively and active image through manipulation of the reflexive mechanical actions of the eye with compositional line elements.

When you’re shooting your own images, before you snap your shot take a moment to stop and look at the space. Ask yourself where the viewers eye will fall: will their eye jump around the image in a chaotic and unstructured manner or will it be directed into and through the image in a smooth and elegant flow?

People respond well to elegance.

AuthorDean Birinyi