10 Tips to Emphasize Your Subject – What is Emphasis in Photography?

In photography, emphasis is about attracting focus and attention to your subject. A topic in photography might become lost in a busy and unstructured image. However, there are several photographic composition strategies that may assist you in emphasizing your topic in any shot.

We’ll explain the focus on photography in this post. And we have awesome tips and tactics for mastering it.

What is Emphasis in Photography?

Emphasis is when we give something exceptional significance, making it stand out from the rest of the sentence. We can highlight a certain word in a phrase to give our message a special meaning. And where we put the focus depends on what we mean.

The same may be said about photography. In photography, emphasis may draw attention to individuals or objects inside the frame. Putting a focus on our topic emphasizes its significance in the scene and draws the viewer’s attention to it.

Photographic emphasis helps you to tell tales with your photographs. With the right photographic concentration, every shot may be transformed into a setting with a tale. Your subject becomes the focal point, standing out from the rest of the scene.

To highlight our topics, we may employ some outstanding picture composition strategies. They include contrast, depth of field, and negative space, which we’ll go over in more detail later.

Using focus in photography allows you to visually express yourself. Using these strategies allows you to have more control over your image. You can guide the viewer’s attention and keep it where you want it. Adding emphasis aids in the telling of stories in the visual arts.

10 Photographic Techniques for Emphasizing Your Subject

These are the greatest photographic composition approaches for emphasizing your topic. These can help you improve your photography composition expertise, allowing you to grasp focus in photography. And they all function wonderfully whether you’re shooting film or digitally.

1. Think in Thirds

One of the most important theories in photographic composition is the rule of thirds. It provides a foundation for constructing your photograph and allows you to emphasize your subject.

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To use the rule of thirds, divide your frame into nine equal-sized rectangles. You achieve this by drawing two vertical and two horizontal lines that are equally spaced apart. Within the frame, it generates a grid. And this grid provides the framework for a good composition.

The sites of importance are the intersections of the lines. And these are the perfect areas to include your subjects for further emphasis. Using the lines as a guide to position your subject offers you a good composition structure.

The rule of thirds may be used in both portrait and landscape photography. In addition, many digital cameras have a rule of thirds mode that applies the grid on the screen. It’s a terrific place to start when it comes to emphasizing your subjects.

2. Think About Colors

In photography, color theory is a fantastic composition tool. In photography, utilizing the appropriate color combinations may help you enhance attention.

Color schemes that are monochromatic or similar are excellent for producing a harmonious scene in which the colors mix effortlessly. However, if you want to utilize color to emphasize anything, you should seek complementary colors.

Complementary hues, such as purple and yellow or red and green, are on opposing sides of the color wheel. When they’re matched together, they’re visually appealing. They are, however, diametrically opposed, which makes them stand out. It’s an excellent tool for emphasizing certain aspects of your photos.

A triadic color scheme can also be used for visual emphasis. It employs three colors, which are uniformly distributed on the wheel. Furthermore, the equal spacing of the colors on the color wheel ensures that each color stands out from the others.

3. Use Strong Contrast To Highlight Your Subject

When there is a substantial variation in illumination between two regions, this is referred to as contrast. One region will be completely black with very little light. The other is highly lighted, either naturally or artificially. When these diverse lighting circumstances are juxtaposed, you get a picture with a lot of contrast.

Placing your subject in a highly lit area surrounded by darkness helps emphasize the topic in your shot. Any element that is in the light will stand out from the darkness. It lends itself well to street and portrait photography.

In black & white photography, light contrast is a significant visual technique. When your topic is lighted against a solid black frame, it provides a dramatic focus. It immediately captures the viewer’s attention.

4. Isolate Your Subject Through Negative Space

A negative space is a space that is devoid of any feature. It’s an empty area in your image that you may utilize to draw attention to your topic. In minimalist photography, negative space is very significant in composition.

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Negative space removes distracting elements from your photograph. There is nothing to divert the viewer’s attention away from your subject if you have large areas with very little in them. Because the composition is sparse, no extraneous aspects compete for attention.

Negative space isn’t necessarily black and white. It might be a flat color block or a surface with little complexity. On a clear day, you can utilize the sky or the motionless surface of a body of water. This absence of information is intended to bring attention to your main subject.

5. Create a Bokeh Effect with a Shallow Depth of Field

The depth of field is the percentage of your image that is in focus. If you choose a shallow depth of field, the region in front and behind your subject will be in focus as well. Landscape photography frequently uses a shallow depth of field.

The information in front and behind your subject is out of focus when you have a short depth of field. This blurred backdrop effect is known as “bokeh,” and it’s a great way to lend visual weight to your subject.

When you use a bokeh effect, your subject is the only object that is in focus. Everything else in the image will be softly blurred. Because of the selective focus, your subject stands out as the focal point of your shot. It’s a great way to draw attention to your subject in portrait photography.

6. Use Leading Lines to Direct the Eye

Look for lines in your surroundings. They can be both straight and curved. Lines can also be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal. The goal is to attract the viewer’s attention to your major subject by using these phrases.

Leading lines are a great way to emphasize your subject in a composition. Whether the lines are from railroad tracks or a fence on the side of the road, they should direct the viewer’s attention to the topic you wish to highlight. Our eyes can follow the lines because they form a trail.

Leading lines serve to highlight themes that are distant or do not stand out on their own. They can also make your subject stand out in a crowded photograph.

7. Find a Frame Within Your Frame

Natural frames from your surroundings might be used to frame your subject. A window, a fissure in a wall, or a break in some vegetation might all serve as the frame. The structure, no matter what it’s constructed of, will keep the viewer’s focus on your subject.

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You must pick a vantage point that places your main subject in the middle of the frame. In this natural frame, all other aspects will become secondary to your subject. To increase attention, utilize a narrow depth of field so that the natural frame is out of focus.

8. Look For Something Different

Another approach to drawing attention to your subject in photography is to juxtaposition it with something that isn’t the same. Things that aren’t the same can refer to wholly distinct objects, such as a dog and a guitar. Or it might be two items with a tiny difference, such as a flower that is a different hue than others around it.

Other things can be used to surround your main topic, but they must be distinct. Perhaps it’s a green tomato among a bunch of red tomatoes. It might also be a white sheep in a group of black sheep. The contrast draws attention to your topic, making it stand out from the throng.

9. Look for Textured Surfaces to Add Weight to Your Subject

Rough textures draw the eye and have greater visual weight than soft or smooth surfaces. In addition, contrasting the hard roughness of your subject with softness can assist identify it as the main focus of the photograph.

If you can’t discover a jagged texture adjacent to anything smooth, use your camera to create one. Using a narrow depth of field softens the emphasis of the visual components surrounding your subject. The rough roughness contrasts with the smooth bokeh, drawing attention to your topic.

10. Use a Tight Composition for Personal Emphasis

Choose a narrowly cropped image if you wish to remove any distractions. In portrait photography, this arrangement method is quite effective. It also works effectively with both human and animal subjects.

Instead of focusing on the person or animal, you concentrate on their eyes. Within the photograph, the eyes become the dominant subject. It makes for a touching and intimate shot. And the eyes will retain the viewer’s sight. The iris will also give a splash of color for added impact.


In photography, the emphasis is on making your subject stand out. To keep the viewer’s attention, your subject should be well defined inside the image.

These photographic composition strategies can assist you in drawing attention to your topic. They may be used for portraits and landscapes, as well as street photography and reportage.

Mastering focus in photography allows you to have greater control over your photographs. Make use of these tools to create compelling visuals and interesting stories.

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