Emphasis is achieved through various devices, most notably via points of interest. A point of interest is any
meaningful part of the image that attracts a viewer’s attention for a span of time. Points of interest are
sometimes called focal points, but I will refrain from using that term to avoid confusion with optical focus.
Points of interest are created by:
- Contrast in colors (vivid among dull, hot among cool, etc.)
- Contrasts tones (bright spot or dark spot)
- Contrast in shapes
- Meaningful elements (e.g. a face, hand, etc.)
Dissimilar shapes, especially large objects, will gain attention. Objects in the foreground garner attention, especially if they are in the sharpest plane of focus. Finally, a sense of action will grab attention, such as something thrown or falling.
Emphasis is important to understanding the visual pathway.
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