Entice the Eye

My latest post to the Outdoor Photographer blog, Entice the Eye, discusses strategies for engaging the viewer’s interest and leading their eye into the image. The image I use to illustrate the post, below, is a variation of an image I previously posted called Light’s Echo. I’m honestly on the fence as to which variation I prefer—both have strong and weak points. I made the image in Zion National Park. I hiked up a steep trail to reach this flooded canyon, and spent some time swimming in the pool looking for an interesting angle before settling on this view looking out. I stood on a small rock sticking out of the water so that I would avoid creating ripples. After the water settled down, I waited for peak sunset light to bathe the distant cliff face in  golden color.

I made several variations of this scene, but it was only after I processed the images and studied them carefully that I decided I had missed an opportunity, and that I should have included the rock I was standing on in the image. I returned to the same spot several days later, only to find that the water had subsided to the point that my planned composition was no longer possible. I don’t know for sure whether the shot would have really worked or not, but I do wish I had thought of trying it the first time I was there! I’ve said it before and will likely say it again: when you are on location, it pays to try as many different variations as possible, just so you make sure you don’t miss something special. Canon 5DII, 14mm, ISO 100, f/14, 1.6 seconds.

Ian Plant

Author: Ian Plant

World-renowned professional photographer, writer, and adventurer Ian Plant is a frequent contributor to and blogger for Outdoor Photographer Magazine, a Contributing Editor to Popular Photography Magazine, a monthly columnist for Landscape Photography Magazine, and a Tamron Image Master. Ian is also the author of numerous books and instructional videos. Ian leads photography workshops and tours around the world to help beginner and advanced photographers explore and expand their personal vision.

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