Questions, Tips & Tricks Scrapbook Layouts

What is a Focal Picture?

Can you determine the focal point?What are Focal Points?

Artists should understand  how to create a strong focal point in their photographs as well as their scrapbook pages.  Focal points refer to the areas of the artwork that command the viewer’s attention.  Intelligent placement of your main image  can positively affect the overall feel of the page.

In creating a good scrapbook page you need to create the place where your viewer’s eye naturally is guided. This is called your focal point. When you lay out all your photos for an event, choose which one you want everyone to notice. For instance: You are scrapbooking your child’s baptism. You will most likely have pictures of people who attended, the baptismal font or whatever body of water used, etc. Since this is your child’s baptism you may want to have the main focus on your child’s face the moment they come up out of the water. The joy of knowing that for the moment they are completely without sin. This can be done in a multitude of ways.

Contrast

One way to create a focal point in art is through the use of contrast. Contrast refers to difference. Any type of difference in image will make the photo stand out and thus becoming a focal point. Difference or contrast can come in many different forms.  Color and shape, are just a couple of ways you can contrast.  By combining elements, you can increase the contrast that is created, thus strengthening the focal point. So having the focal picture larger than the other photos on the page, or changing up the matting options under the photo of your child discussed above.

Isolation

Another way to create a focal point in artwork is through isolation. Whenever one object or element is separated from a group it becomes isolated and so it becomes a focal point. So for instance, If you have a set up photos as in the sketch posted here, by putting the picture you want people to notice in the center, away from the row of smaller pictures it becomes your focal point.

Placement

Photos that are placed in the center of the picture plane or near center, will naturally become a focal point. Most of the time, a focal point that is not exactly center is preferred. By placing your photo  just off center, you can create a focal point through placement without changing the feel of the page.

Convergence

A fourth way to create a focal point  is to use implied lines to direct a viewer’s eye to an object or element. We talked about this when we talked about the Rule of Three.

The Unusual

Another way to create a focal point in scrapbooking your pages  is to introduce an object or element that is unusual to the scene. For instance, you attach your focal picture with 3D Tape so it jumps right off the page. This photo will stand out and demand attention thus creating a focal point.

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