Check your edges everybody. Are you leaving slivers of light and space on your photograph’s edges?
Consider the above landscape photograph. The left side has a nice dark edge that contains the viewer and funnels them into the photograph. The right hand side has a nice dark element in the large tree. It doesn’t however hold us in the frame or push the viewer deeper into the picture as well. Why?
The thin sliver of lighter sky on the right hand side of the frame lets our eye wander out of the frame. The space is too small to contain any meaningful visual elements. Our eyes have a tendency toward following bright things and edges of contrast. A sliver at the frames edge pulls us right out of the image. Solution?
Eliminate those slivers of light at the edges of our frames. A quick crop inward to place the dark trunk on the frame’s edge. Now the right hand side of the frame echoes the left: it funnels us back into the image. Go back to the top image and look at it for a moment-let your eye wander naturally around the frame. Where does you eye go first? Next? Now look at the bottom image and see if the eye wanders the same path.
As you go about the business of cropping your images so that your vision is presented as strongly as possible be wary of little slivers of light and space that keep your viewer from seeing what you want them to see.
Rikk Flohr © 2012