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The success of a photograph depends on more than it subject. For big impact, the photographer must finesse every visual element at their disposal to communicate with the viewer. In the right hands, lines (horizontal, vertical, diagonal, curving, radiating, and converging) draw viewers’ eyes through the frame in a predictable manner. Color creates a dynamic rhythm or a balance. Depth of field (the area of sharp focus in the image) tells the viewer what is important in the image-where it is that the eye should settle. Of course, even the positioning of the various elements in the scene (the subject, image color, points of strong tonal contrast, and more) help to establish impact.

In this book, Chen describes the compositional “rules” artists have used for centuries to create high-impact work. With each discussion, images are presented that clearly show how the design strategy was used and how it strengthened the photograph

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