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Paths Lead the Eye

Follow the eyes, is there a path? In many interesting pictures, photos, paintings, etc., paths lead the eyes to areas of interest. Think of an an Easter egg hunt where the eggs are place along a path. As we move along the path we find little eggs of surprise and interest.

Paths lead the Eyes - Snowy Path

So how do we achieve the leading path we want our viewers to follow and find those little nuggets of eye candy? The path can litterly be a path, trail, river, areas of light, tree trunks, and the list is endless.

Pick up your camera right now, look into the display or view finder, look about your area, and find a path, or make a path.

Did you find one? What was along your path, plants, vases, people, cats, diamonds, what ?

The path can be macro or on the enormous such as the Grand Canyon. The idea is to lead your viewer to nuggets of the photo that create interest, thoughts, memories, and hopefully great pleasure or peace.

How do we end the path and how do me start it? These are always questions of composition and balance. Lets look at few photos and see obvious paths of classic BW and later more embedded paths.

Paths Leading the Eyes Snowy Path

The path is obvious, it is a sidewalk in a snow storm. I find fog and snow to be my best mediums and conditions. Why you ask, the end of the path ends in the snow storm. The ending is built in. I do not have to recompose to create and make an ending, this is the easiest of photography, and most people will not even pick up a camera in rain, fog, or snow. To bad, it is by far the most interesting of photography. The nugget or the eye candy of this picture is the frozen tree and the path leads right to it.

Now let’s consider another case wher paths lead the eye.

Paths lead the eye Beach Grass

This path is also obvious, the ridge of grass leading to the horizon of a stormy beach sunset. This path starts right in the middle foreground; the preceding picture had a path from the left foreground, to create more balance. This picture is all about the dunes and storms, so the texture of the grass and contrast of the clouds are the nuggets of this picture. My eye goes right for the horizon while stopping at the highlights in the grass ridge, then expands to the sky then I notice the textures

Again let’s consider another case where paths lead the eye.

Path leads the eyes Flamingo

Note the light and dark of the reflections leading to the flamingo. Without this path, the picture would be less interesting, the path creates interest, and helps define the scene. This path is a pond with waves. The flamingo is sleeping, standing in a pond. The path defines and leads it also creates a balance of light with the black of the background. SO the path in this picture fills many voids.

Again grab that camera, look in to the display, across the room, down the subway floor, across the field, where is the path? Should the path be straight, curved, or “S” shaped. I Like “S” shaped curves in nature, it is more pleasing to follow a wandering river than to look along a straight canal A path could be a trail of jelly beans leading through a plate of cinnamon rolls, YUMMY! Or, possibly golf tees between golf balls and creates the expectation of good times. The path is only limited by you the photographer.

So, get that camera, and go snapping, but be happy. ~ Russ

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