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A Question of Direction

FundyBrian

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It didn't feel like my eye read from left to right. If so it was very quick because my eye snapped instantly to the light.
Yes, that's pretty much what happens but there is a pattern to that initial scan. If you observe your eye travel over many images you will begin to notice the pattern. In a predominately dark scene your eye is drawn to the contrasting tone, in this case the small bright areas and in a light scene your attention is drawn to the small dark areas. From there you follow a pattern that you may repeat over and over, one element leading to the next. If you arrange your composition well the viewer's eye travel is always directed within the image in an easy path, like an oval, if you are less lucky a major leading line will guide the eye out of the frame and the viewer quickly loses interest in trying to get back into the image.

Here is a similar situation. In magazine ads of people modelling clothes, in store windows featuring clothes displayed on a mannequin, a lot of effort goes into directing your eye to the clothes. And yet, no matter how much they try your eye goes to the face. If you really are interested in the clothes you have to drag your eyes away from the face to see them. Now try another window and the mannequin has a featureless face or half a head or even no head and compare your reaction. Yes, it is done to take your attention away from the face and onto the clothes. I have been observing my reaction to this for some time and I always focus on the face unless no face is there.

A similar situation occurs with text. Put some little sign in a window and you have to look at it. The mind is always searching for meaning. Is this an important message for me? If this wasn't true then signs would be pointless.
 

RoseCat

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I asked a professional, my niece who is a Psychologist, and I'm sorry to say that it appears that it is just a matter of preference. :)
LOL and Darn!! I was hoping for something more exciting. [emoji23]
 

Ryn S

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lol you guys. The top or first version feels right to me, but just barely. I am equally comfortable with either version. Both have me at the clearing getting ready to turn left or right to follow the trail. I am right-handed thanks to the good nuns at the Catholic school I attended my first two years in school. And here may be a psychoanalysis factor to add to the equation. I drive down woodland trails so I have sat at similar spots in my car, deciding which way to turn. I am American so I drive on the left side of the car. I drive a lot. I take a lot of photos from inside my car, (usually pulled over and stopped), so they are usually from the right to the left. :) for whatever it's worth :)
 
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