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Quick Photo tip: Managing What the Viewer Perceives and Processes

Pass or fail?

Pass or fail?

Since humans rely on their perception of the environment that surrounds them, visual input is a part of everyday life. This is a part of what I teach in my online Gestalt class with the BPSOP. I also talk about it at lengths during my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet.

One of the six concepts we work on is called Continuance, and it’s about directing the viewer to areas in our composition while moving him around the frame.

Instead of putting up my usual photo, this time I put up a diagram that I show to my fellow photographers.  The last time I counted, no one passed the test!!!!

If you can use this concept, and apply it to your thought process, you’ll create images that not only will keep the viewer around longer (isn’t that just what we want?) but can also stand the test of time.

The viewer will look where they're looking.

The viewer will look where they’re looking.

The next time you’re out shooting, think about this diagram, and try to incorporate the theory behind it into a photo. Think of the arrow as an analogy as far as directing the viewer to look in the direction you want. You can also get the viewer to look in the direction you want (or directions) by having people in your photos act like arrows and use their eyes to do the looking. If you can create two directions, all the better.

When I saw the man walking down the cobblestone street in Tuscany, I immediately saw it as a way to lead the viewer in the opposite way the man was walking. It might not be one of my best photos, but it sure does show how important the Psychology of Gestalt is.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my upcoming workshops at the top of this blog. In conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be leading a group to Cuba for the third time next March. Come join me in what I’ll guarantee you to be an amazing experience, and you’ll return home with memorable photos from a wonderful country.

Send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.


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