Anchor Points – Something To Ground The Viewer In Your Shot
When photographing a landscape, creating a visual balance is important. By using something eye-catching in an otherwise empty space, you can lead the viewers eye back to the starting point and repeatedly lead them through the photograph. This object that draws the viewer back in is known as an anchor point.
In the image above, the bridge forms a strong leading line that delivers the eye to the city. The rocks positioned in the bottom left of the frame give you something to land on when the reflection of the cities lights bring you to the bottom of the frame. After they get your attention they lead you back to the bridge starting the viewers visual journey over again.
Here, the water rushing over the falls naturally causes the eye to move from left to right. The bright moss covered rock on the bottom left acts as an anchor point grabbing your peripheral vision after you’ve completed this path to start it all over again.
Contrast Is Key
The salt crusted branch in the bottom of the image on the left acts as an anchor point to balance the vibrant pink sky. The bright colors of the textured clouds naturally draw your eye while the white branch and its reflection pull you back to the bottom of the image.
You don’t always need to be using something physical as an anchor point. In the image on the right the reflection of the sun acts as an anchor point. The silhouette of the people crossing the boardwalk in the middle of the frame grab the attention after you initially look at the sun. It’s trailing reflection in the foreground keeps the eye moving until you end up back in the sky with that bright sun.
In addition to anchor points, there are a lot of other ways to bring your viewer somewhere withing your image. If you click on the following link it will bring you to a Tip and Trick about leading lines and other ways to draw the eye, so you can get a better understanding of a few of these techniques.