So what’s your point?

If you’re anything like me, sometimes I’ll take pictures without actually using my brain. Looking back at it later I realize I could have done better.

From an artistic perspective, pictures should tell a story. Even if the story is, “hey, this is a pretty house!” or “Wow, they have a big front yard.”

Biltmore Estate, oustide Asheville NC.

Looking back at this picture, there are a few things that I don’t actually like about it. First, its winter time & everything is pretty ugly. Second, while at first glance, clouds tell me it may start snowing, my brain also tells me that those clouds would probably never happen in real life. Because of this I feel less interested in the picture. The third thing I noticed about this picture is the way the lines lead the eye through the picture.

The human eye tends to follow lines, the way this picture is set up is a great example of the lines leading the eye down the road, to the Biltmore Estate. The eye then travels along the estate, taking it all in. Now this is where the eye makes a choice. 1) It can follow the tree line off the edge of the picture. Or 2) it follows the clouds up to the corner of the picture. Either way, your eye never returns to the picture. Initially this picture does its job at making you look at the Biltmore Estate. However, if I had waited a few more minutes for one of the shuttle buses to bring in the next load of tourists, it would have given something interesting at the corner of the picture and it would have given some movement to the picture.

Biltmore Estate, outside Asheville NC

While this picture does a great job making you look down the front of the Biltmore, the subject becomes the trees. I like the perspective of the trees, but the I was more interested in getting a picture of the Biltmore Estate. So, in general, not bad. But where does the treeline lead your eye?

Absolutely no where! Now, I could have placed a person standing there waving. If I had framed it better, I could have left the unique architecture directly in the end of the shot. But instead, the view is left with a half cut off potted plant… Which is pretty dull.

A better way to frame of the previous shot.

So here’s a tip, the next time you go out for a photo-shoot (especially if you’ve just paid $50 to take pictures of someone’s old house) be sure that you’re intentional about the way you frame the picture. Don’t lead people’s eyes astray, they won’t want to look at your art!

Here are a couple of other shots that lead the eye toward more interesting subjects.

The lockers and ceiling tiles lead the eyes to the crowded hallway

Sidewalks lead the eye to the cloud textures

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