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How to Choose a Main Subject for Your Digital Image

When you’re taking pictures with your digital camera, compose your image with one subject in mind. That subject needs to draw the viewer’s eye. Ensure that your main subject is, in fact, the center of interest.

1

Don’t let other objects distract from your main subject in the picture, like they do in this figure.

Large, distinctive, highly unusual, or controversial objects take on a life of their own and seize the focus of attention in your photograph.

2

Make your main subject the brightest object in the photo — or at least not overpowered by a brighter object.

Gaudy colors or bright shapes in the background distract viewers from your main subject, as shown in this figure. Eliminate such objects, move them behind something, or otherwise minimize their impact.

3

Give your composition only one center of interest.

Other things in a photo can be interesting, but they must clearly be subsidiary to the main center of interest. This figure shows a photo of some flowers that has no real center of interest.

4

Avoid always placing the subject in the exact center of the photograph.

You center your subject in many cases, such as for close-ups or portraits. But most of the time, you want to move the important subject to either side and a little toward the top or bottom of the frame, as shown in this figure.

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