Sunday, 7 July 2013

03.07 Eye-lines

The strongest implied line is the eye-line - the direction which someone is looking at. The eye-line owes its insistence to three factors:
  1. the high visual weight of the human face;
  2. the high visual weight of the eyes in the human face; and
  3. the Gestalt theory of Continuity.
Simply put, we want to see what others are looking at, because what interests someone else might well interest us too.

If eye-lines are present in a composition, they will nearly always be important structural elements because of their hard-to-dilute inherent power of directing the viewing eye. Eye-lines take two common forms:
  • Direct eye-contact with the viewer
    The observer has direct first-person involvement with the image. This kind of eye-line is the highest attractant.
  • Looking at another object
    Used to point out an object of interest, the observer has a third-person involvement. If the eye-line is directed at something out of frame, this introduces ambiguity which creates either delay or a sense of suspension.

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