Selective Darkening to Direct the Eye


Using selective darkening in your image processing is an effective tool for directing the viewer's eye to the most important part(s) of the image. The core elements of this composition are the leading lines that pull the viewer to the doorway of the pink house. I made the doorway dominate even more by using selective darkening. I applied a graduated darkening across the bottom third of the image, as well as across the top (down to the bottom of the window). These two areas of darkening "sandwich" the bottom half of the house, pushing your attention to that part of the scene. The version below is without the selective darkening.

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Notice how without the selective darkening your eye is more likely to linger in the foreground and/or wander up to the top of the image. I like the expanse of the foreground, so I don't want to crop it off, I just don't want the eye to spend too much time in this area of the image.

The photo was taken in downtown Charleston, South Carolina where you can find plenty of architectural gems like this one. I used my Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic.

Charleston, South Carolina Workshop: March 26-29