Sunday, February 28, 2010

Note from Karen

We will be out of town for a few days visiting my daughter's family in Omaha and getting reacquainted with our grandchildren, so no posts for a few days.  But on Wednesday look for my monthly desktop image that you can download for March.  Here is a photo of Sabrina, Vanessa and Isaac taken when we visited them the last time:

And one of my all time favorite grandchildren picture:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My favorite Photos

I hope you have enjoyed seeing a glimpse of Fanning Island this week.  I treasure that one day as unique in my life experiences.  It truly felt we were stepping back in time to a simpler life.    It must seem strange to the laid back residents living in the middle of nowhere, that on one day a week, their quiet little paradise turns into a bustling crowd of sunburned, noisy people wearing floppy hats and sunglasses, who invade their privacy for a few hours, and then leave as suddenly as they came.  For now, this tiny speck of land will remain relatively remote particularly if the cruise ship has stopped going there as I recently read.  When one of the tourists on our cruise asked the captain of the ship how quickly someone could get back to 'civilization' in an emergency, he replied about two days.  There is no place for planes to land, and it is too far for helicopters to fly.  I don't know how fast one could make it in a fast boat but it took two full days and nights for the cruise ship to get there.  So for know, this tiny speck of land will remain relatively remote, and that's probably a good thing.

My favorite photos were of the children of Fanning Island.  They were cute and friendly and seemed to love the excitement of the tourists and were curious as to what we were all about:

Drum roll please......and now my favorite photo:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Phriday Phun

As I've mentioned, Fanning Island is very primitive with no electricity, plumbing, and of course, no restaurants.  There is nothing 'modern' except a small picnic area the cruise line set up for the tourists and all food is brought in from the ship.   We got a kick out of this sign and wondered if the native people even knew what 'pizza' was.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Exotic Dancers of Fanning Island

As you can see, the people of Fanning Island get plenty to eat, at least the dancers.   I'm assuming they eat lots of fish and fruit with some chicken and pork mixed in and probably no processed foods.  I wonder what about their diet or lifestyle contributes to their weight.  I do know that civilization has started to take its toll.  We were told there is quite a drinking problem with the men.

Many of the people, including children were missing teeth or had rotting teeth.  We were told not to give the children candy because this is a major problem.  They have no dental care on the island.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday Workday - (Interesting People in their Environment)

Continuing with 'theme week' on Fanning Island,  the people learned very quickly that the tourists would pay them money for their hand made trinkets, so all of a sudden the people became artisans and salesmen!  We were told to pay with one dollar bills, mainly because they did not understand money very well.  We heard a funny story about their newly acquired selling and buying skills.  Most of the tourists pay with American money.  At first the people did not know what to do with it.  Evidently they share everything in common and had a common pot where they collected what the tourists paid them.  They knew they could trade the money for supplies from the Australian supply ship that stopped every so often, but they needed Australian money.  When the cruise line heard about their dilemma they were told that when the ship was there, they would be allowed to come aboard and exchange their money.   The first time they came aboard to do so, the cruise people were shocked when they brought in thousands and thousands of one dollar bills!  I bet it didn't take long before they figured out exactly how many dollar bills they could extract from the tourists and what they could purchase with their money! 

A lady and her son selling their wares along a dirt path.

He made a sale and we asked him to autograph his work.

The official greeter wearing traditional attire.  He asked for tips.

There was a small 'shopping' area right by the little dock where the tourists were dropped off.

Tomorrow I'll post the dancers who entertained us.  They are like nothing I've ever seen in a grass skirt before!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tech Talk Tuesday (Just the Basics)

Shoot Out - Crop In!
Many photographers say 'crop' your picture the way you want as you take the photo.   This shows forethought, skill and saves time so you don't have to edit in Photoshop.  Trouble is, sometimes you don't always see 'THE' picture until after you look at it more carefully.  Maybe you didn't see the ugly garbage can on the side of the frame that detracts from the picture.  Or maybe what looked good through the viewfinder looks too far away with not enough visible detail to make an interesting photo.  (Reminder: One of the BEST ways to instantly improve most photos is to zoom in close to your subject like I discussed in an earlier Tech Talk Tuesday.)  Or maybe you like the photo so much you want to blow it up to an 8x10 but you didn't leave enough room around your subject to change the crop ratio.  For all these reasons and more I like to frame my picture with ample room on all sides of the subject so I have the ability to alter the size and shape as I see fit later.  Here are a couple of examples of how cropping in tight improved the photo:

I thought the little red crabs on the neutral sand would be a colorful picture, but after I really looked at it I realized there was too little color, too much boring sand, and you couldn't see enough detail in the crabs to make the photo interesting.

Showing a close crop on one of these guys made a much more interesting photo.  (I just noticed I uploaded the wrong 'before' photo...but a similar one.  Oh well, you get the idea!)

The sky was ever changing that day from sunny to partly cloudy to overcast.  If there had been beautiful puffy white clouds and a deep blue sky, this photo would have been perfect.  But here, a large portion of the picture is just boring white sky.

Under the circumstances, a different shape crop took out the boring sky, and the close up made this scene visually more pleasing.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fanning Island Paradise

(Note:  Theme Week -  Fanning Island.  See previous post.)

We walked out from the palms to a sight that took our breath away.  This beautiful white sand beach was totally deserted. The only thing you could see was the pristine aqua lagoon (also deserted),  rimmed with palms, and a row of perfectly aligned blue and white umbrellas each with a beach lounge underneath for as far as one could see.  This was set up solely for the use of the ship tourists on the day the ship was there, and is deserted the other 6 days of the week.  I kept thinking this scene should be used in a travel magazine or as advertisement for the cruise line it was so perfect.  (I wasn't smart enough to take my picture before all the tourists made themselves comfortable)

The water in this lagoon was as pleasant as it was beautiful.  It was warm, and shallow and calm.    We walked quite a ways out and I don't think the water got deeper than our waist.  No noise, no cell phones, no traffic.  This gave us the real meaning of 'getting away from it all!'

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Theme Week - Fanning Island

Well, I'm off on yet another tangent!  I was sorting and organizing my photographs from one of our travels, reliving memories, and recalling the adventures we had.   I thought I'd post one on the blog, but there were so many I loved that I couldn't decide whether it should be a landscape, an interesting person, etc.  Then I had a brilliant idea....well, maybe not  exactly brilliant.  Anyway, every so often I will have a theme week, where all the posts that week will be about the same place, the same subject,  etc.  The week will still include 'Tech Talk Tuesday', 'Wednesday Workday', and 'Phriday Phun', but all with the same theme, and I'll end the week with my favorite picture posted on Saturday.  (P.S.  If anyone has a theme they'd like for the future, let me know!  It could be somewhere you know I've been, or maybe additional photos of something I've already posted.)

This will be FANNING ISLAND week.  

That's great you say, but where in the world is Fanning Island????  Fanning Island (also called Tabuaeran), is a very small atoll that is part of a group of atolls called the Republic of Kiribati and sits just off the equator in the Pacific Ocean.  It is close to the Marshall Islands and in between New Guinea and Hawaii.  It is a very small crescent speck of flat land covered with palm trees and white sand beaches.  Inside the 'crescent' is a beautiful aqua green lagoon.  This lagoon is almost completely enclosed by the small strip of land circling it,  and is about 7 miles in diameter.  The temperature year round varies between 80 and 82 degrees.  (Mmmmm, my kind of place!!)   It is probably the most primitive, remote place I will ever see in my lifetime.  There are no towns, (just a few small villages), no electricity, no plumbing, no medical or dental,  no commerce, no internet, in fact, no communication at all with the outside world.  No air strips, no paved roads, no restaurants, no motels.  Do you get the picture?   There are a little over 2000 citizens living here in true 'grass shacks' subsisting on fish and tropical fruit or what they can grow.  The only way to get there is by a decent sized boat, and it takes two days from Hawaii.  To my knowledge, there is only one 'white' man, or I should say outsider, living on the island.   Over 28 years ago, a young surf bum from California was traveling the world looking for adventure and somehow made it to Fanning Island, and he has lived there ever since.  He married a native girl and lives the primitive life they do.  He does have a boat and keeps in touch with family and friends by traveling to Hawaii occasionally.  Also, there is a supply ship from Australia that stops periodically.  It has been said that Fanning Island is about as close as it gets to an unspoiled, remote, natural tropical paradise on earth at this time.........

And then came the cruise ships!!!  A few years ago we wanted to cruise the Hawaiian Islands, (our first cruse and first time in Hawaii).  The cruise included two days at sea to Fanning Island.  We learned that because the cruse line was foreign, regulations required the ship to make at least one stop at a foreign port.  How they came up with Fanning Island, I'll never know.  There is no port, the ship anchors out in the ocean and we were tendered in.  The cruise line worked with the Republic of Kirabati to make a portion of the island available for tourists.  In one small area they have tables to eat lunch brought from the ship, and a large bathroom facility.  The cruise line also worked to help the people there.  Among other things, they were instrumental in building a simple primary school, and they allow the people access to the ship's doctor while in port.  Through the week I'll give you more information about this unique place to go with the photos I'll post.  One more bit of information.  I just read that the cruise line has now stopped going to Fanning Island.  We may very well have been given a window of opportunity to see what only a few others will now get to see, and they will have to hire a private boat for the trip.

Below are our first glimpses of the land itself.  (Sidenote:  If you get dscouraged and don't think your photography skills have improved with time, just go back a few years and critique your earlier work.  I think I have improved since I took these photos.)  

This was our first view of Fanning Island from the ship.  Just a little speck of palms in the middle of the ocean.  We were tendered into the lagoon through the small inlet on the right.  This part of the crescent is only about a stone's throw wide.  I wondered if they had ever had a tsunami here, as it would mean certain death to everyone on the island, because there is no high ground for safety.

A stroll along the lagoon side.

The natives fished in canoes and primitive boats.  I believe the only motorized boats were owned by the 'outsider' who after many years on the island was granted citizenship.  On the other side of the lagoon in the distance is the far side of the atoll.

The Norwegian Wind

Friday, February 19, 2010

Phriday Phun

HOW COULD YOU............

As soon as I saw this expression as I was editing photos from the wedding last Saturday, I knew what I'd be posting for 'Phriday Phun".   I wish I could come up with a better title.  If anyone can think of something clever, let me know!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Notes from a Phickle Photographer!!

When friends or strangers find out I enjoy taking pictures, they always ask what type of photography do I like???  Hmmm, well, ummm.  There are photogs who are passionate about stunning landscapes; others get a tickle in their tummy photographing beautiful brides; others like nothing better than spending hours hiding behind a bush waiting to snag a shot of an elusive bear; others can spend hours getting a yummy piece of chocolate cake to look perfect for a picture; others are into action sports; others only pick up their camera to take pictures of their kids, and on and on and on.  My response to the above question is that I am really a very fickle photographer.  I love the challenge of many types of subjects and know I'd get horribly bored shooting the same thing over and over.  Like the saying, 'a jack of all trades and a master of none', I guess I'm a jack of many types of photography and a master of none!  The down side to my approach is that I will never excel at shooting any one thing.  The upside is that I really have fun with photography and don't take it too seriously, (which is why I enjoy it), and when I come back to shooting a subject that I haven't done for a while, I have a fresh perspective and greater enthusiasm.  Additionally, when I look back at my photos, they are so diverse and unpredictable, that I am never bored.  I hope this comes through as I choose photos to put on the blog.  From one day to the next, you never know if you are going to see a beautiful waterfall, a stunning bride, a multicolored frog, a unique house or a huge strawberry.  It works for me and I hope it works for you.

With all that being said, I'm off on another tangent and I'm going to start posting "Wednesday Workday".  I mentioned in my last "Phun Phriday" post, (last paragraph),  that I've had an ongoing project doing character studies.  That is, shooting interesting people in their own environments, often work environments,  as I see them when I'm out and about.  They are either 'working' to earn a living, or 'working' at something else.  Remember, I'm fickle and get bored easily so I'll see how long this is fun.  

Tech Talk Tuesday

Let's Talk About Focal Length

First of all, remember these posts, (for now), are bare bones, just the basics.  I get questions from beginners, and/or  'point and shooters',  who are after simple solutions so their family and travel photos are worthy of the time it takes to paste them in the scrapbook.  

Most point and shoot cameras now days come with great zoom capabilities, going from wide angle to telephoto.  Sometimes you zoom in or out to include or exclude what you want in the photo, but then are disappointed with the results.  Somehow things just don't look right; maybe distorted or blurry or appearing farther away or somehow different than how it looked on the LCD or viewfinder.  Today I'm going to talk about how different focal lengths can change the look of your picture.  I'm keeping this simple, so for all the following photos I put my camera on auto, shot indoors using natural light, had my ISO high at 800, and framed my shots with the strawberry as close to the lower left corner as possible.  A simple setup you can try for yourself.  I'm not going to talk about all the other adjustments that can change how your final picture will look, only the focal length and where you focus.  So here we go:
Here I used a telephoto lens with a focal length of about 200mm.  In other words, I zoomed in close.  In order for me to get the strawberry in the lower left corner and still get part of the flowerpot in the frame,  I had to be about 6 feet away.  I focused on the strawberry, and as you can see, everything else is blurred.

Here I used the same focal length and the same distance from the strawberry.  But look what happened when I focused on the little red hearts behind the strawberry.  There is a small band of the picture in focus, but everything in front and behind is out of focus.  (Although if you notice, the flowerpot is not as blurred as in the first shot because I focused closer to it.)

So now you get the idea.  When I focused on the flowerpot in this shot, it is in sharp focus while everything in front is out of focus.  As you can see with these three photos, where you focus is critical to the look you are trying to achieve.  In this still life, I like the strawberry in sharp focus, but there are many times when you could purposefully choose another area of the frame to be in sharp focus to make your picture more interesting.

A medium telephoto lens is a good choice when taking portraits, because, as in the first shot, when you focus on your subject in the foreground, the softly blurred background eliminates distractions and creates separation.  But it is important to remember to focus on the most important part of the face and that is the eyes.  The eyes must be in sharp focus for a portrait to look good (unless you are going for some artsy unusual look).  Even the difference in distance from the tip of the nose in relation to the camera, compared with the distance from the eye to the camera, can be critical in determining if you have a good portrait or a great one.  So focus specifically on the eyes, not on the nose or anywhere else on the person.  O.K., now for another look:

Whoa, what happened here??  Now I have gone to the other extreme and have a wide angle photo length of around 20mm.  Isn't it amazing how this changed the perspective of the scene and how much more you can see.  Again, I framed this so the strawberry was in the lower left hand corner.  But to get it there, I had to be about a foot away.  (If I had stayed 6 feet away, the picture would have looked a bit more in proportion but would have included a lot of the tabletop and floor in front of the strawberry.)  This looks totally different from the first three shots with the 200mm focal length.  The strawberry is HUGE, and looks like it is a mile away from the flowerpot.  This demonstrates why photographers don't use extreme wide angle lenses for portraits.  And that is because of the distortion in the size and shape of features.  If a head shot you've taken somehow does not look quite right, check your focal length.  If her cute button nose looks like the size of the above strawberry, you might have been using a wide angle focal length too close!!!   Photographers do, however,  use wide angle lenses when they want to be creative and purposefully produce a unique perspective like the above shot.  More often, however, wide angles are used to include more of the scene from side to side and from foreground to background.  For example, a real estate agent would use a wide angle lens to take photos of her homes because she can get more of the room in the picture, and a landscape photographer would use a wide angle lens to include more of the scene in the frame from the flowers in the foreground to the distant mountains in the background.  In this shot, notice once again that I focused on the strawberry and everything else is blurred.

Here I've focused on the little red hearts in the center.  The strawberry is really out of focus, but the flowerpot is not nearly as blurry as when I focused on the little hearts with the 200mm focal length, and you can see much more detail behind the flowerpot.

In this shot I focused on the refrigerator in the far background.  Now the flowerpot, hearts, and strawberry are all out of focus.  (If I were shooting a landscape there are other 'rules' for getting the sharpest focus possible throughout the image, but that discussion is for another day.)

I hope this shows you visually why it is important to know how different focal lengths and focusing points will change the look of your photo.   With a little forethought in visualizing how you want your photo to look, and having the know how to take advantage of the capabilities of your camera,  you will have the best chance of taking a picture you'll be proud to paste in that scrapbook!


Well, actually, this one is really for Jeff.  I have to tell you my Valentine story.  Jeff's favorite treats are chocolate covered strawberries.  My tradition is to give him chocolate covered strawberries every Valentine's Day, and he looks forward to them with great anticipation.  Well on Saturday, the day before Valentine's Day, I was so busy and I had lots on my mind.  I attended a class all morning, ran errands, then took wedding photos in the afternoon until evening.  I was gone all day and came home late and tired, totally forgetting Valentine's day.  Jeff knew I had forgotten.  Later that evening he brought me red roses, and he also bought himself strawberries and chocolate dip and proceeded to make his own Valentine gift!  I know, I know, I'm soooo ashamed!!  Since I didn't make you chocolate covered strawberries this year, Jeff, I took a picture for you!  Let's hope I do better next year!! 


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Steve Loves Tiffanie
Yesterday I took wedding photos for Steve and Tiffanie.   It was a lovely and appropriate way to spend the day before Valentine's Day, and a great reminder that not only is love a feeling, but it is also an action.  I hope everyone has a wonderful day spoiling those you love!  (Yes, her hair is natural and the most beautiful shade of auburn I have ever seen!)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Phriday Phun

Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue, Oh How My Heart Yearns For You, 
Oh Peggy, My Peggy Sue ew ew.....
That should be enough of the song to jog your memory if you remember that era!  (For you young folks, you'll just have to bare with me on this post.)  This diner is off I-15 right near Route 66.  As many times as we have driven past, going to and from Calif, I have never eaten here.  (Jeff and the boys have while on their way to a car show a few years back.)  Anyway, it has been there for years, and this trip we stopped for lunch and enjoyed all the nostalgia, memorabilia, music, and friendly waitresses.  I wanted this photo to have a vintage look so I faded and altered the color to give it an 'old' feel.

Taking this photo reminded me that sometimes it's good to get out of one's rut and/or comfort zone and shoot subjects you normally don't do or feel comfortable doing.   Several years ago Kay Lynn and I had the wonderful opportunity of attending a week long photography workshop taught by National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore.  I've mentioned this before because I learned so much and we had so much fun.  This workshop really forced me out of my comfort zone.  The hardest assignment for me was one evening we were told to walk the streets of Santa Fe alone, and take photos of strangers at 20 feet.  And no sneaking quick candids.  We had to engage strangers in conversation, ease their suspicions, and make them comfortable enough that when asked, they would allow us to take an up close and personal photo of them.  Yikes!  Talk about intimidating and being out of my comfort zone.  It took a long time to muster up the courage to initiate that first conversation, but I did.    I think many of us are comfortable shooting landscapes, still life, etc.,  where we can take our time, fiddle with our camera, experiment and shoot until we get it right.   These  'subjects'  usually don't move and they certainly don't bruise our egos with a critique of our abilities.  Even if we shoot moving wild life, still, no one is sizing us up or watching to see if we know our stuff.  For me, next on the list of intimidation is to do portrait or  wedding photos.  Now you have to perform and people may or may not like what you do.  Really scary at first, but at least most of the time, these people are asking you to take photos.  (I have a wedding on Saturday.)  But walking up to a total stranger who will probably be irritated that he has been interrupted from where he was going or what he was doing, and more than likely has no interest in having his picture taken, is about as intimidating as it gets for me.  Here are some of the photos I took for this assignment:

Street vender selling jewelry.  I think this was the first one I did and I bought that bracelet because I was sure she would be angry for letting me take her picture if I didn't.
This guy was sitting with friends in an open air bar facing the sidewalk.  They were drunk and having a 'great' time, and I was sure he'd forget I took a photo of him 5 minutes after I left!
This is the owner of another open air bar. All the photos behind him were of his father, a war hero. He was very proud of him and told me about each of the photos. I noticed he looked very much like his father, and I like that I caught him mimicking the pose of his father in the photo behind him.  BIG DISCLAIMER HERE...In case you think I frequent bars, I don't!  We were in the tourist section of Santa Fe where there are numerous bars open to the sidewalk, and this was where most of the people were!
Sidewalk cafe, reading the paper and drinking his coffee.
I stopped this man on the street and told him he had a very handsome tie and asked if I could take a picture of it.

This experience led to a fun, interesting and ongoing photo project of mine, that has been a challenge and has stretched my abilities.  When I'm out and about, I try to find people at work and take their picture in their work environment.  A sort of character study if you will.  I try to find unusual jobs, but not always.  If the person is interesting or photogenic, that's good too.  This forces me to make decisions quickly... how will I compose the shot, how can I eliminate distracting backgrounds, how do I emphasize what the person is doing, then decide which lens and camera settings, etc.  I learn to multi task, because while all these things are going on in my brain, I'm engaging the person in conversation by asking questions about what he does in order to develop a quick rapport and lower defenses.  I meet interesting people and hear interesting stories.  I'll post more 'characters' in the future.    

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tech Talk Tuesday (Just the Basics)

Repeating Patterns, Bright Colors and Unexpected Colors...
also make for interesting photos.  (All three don't have to be in the same shot, but I got lucky with this one.  Did you notice it's also on a diagonal?)  When you are able to isolate what you want your viewer to see from surrounding distractions by zooming in or post process cropping, you are able to create added drama and interest.  This scene was on a busy, colorful, New York street and actually kind of blended in because we were surrounded by visual interest and activities all competing for our attention.  If I had taken the photo with all the other activity included, this scene would have lost its impact.  I didn't realize how attractive it was until I looked at my photos later and saw it isolated.   When you are in a busy area like this, it helps to use your viewfinder and zoom lens in order to focus in on individual scenes and block distractions from your view.   Especially for travel photography and street photography, I have my camera up to my eye far more often than I actually take a photo.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Phriday Phun

Some people just have too much free time!!!  This house is just a few blocks away from our house.  I have no idea what he is creating here, but he had it all lite up at Christmas.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Note From Karen

Jeff and I are leaving today for a little get-away to sunny (and rainy), but we hope warmer, California.  We're going with Tiera & Scott and the grandkids to Disneyland!  I think I'm as excited as they are!!!!!  We'll be gone a few days, but I've scheduled some posts while I'm away including Phun Friday and Tech Talk Tuesday.  Hope everyone has a great week....we intend to do the same!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Floral Fantasy

Well, it's my fantasy anyway.  I'm anxious to be looking for tulips popping up outside, but for now I'll have to be content to enjoy them on my counter.  Hope you have a bright and happy day!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tech Talk Tuesday (Just the Basics)

Keeping Your Viewer Engaged
One way to tell if you have created a great photo is to note how long it holds someone's interest.  In other words, is a passing glance good enough, or does one linger and enjoy looking at a picture for some time.  There are many qualities that make up an interesting photo - beautiful colors, interesting people, lots of action, etc.  But I'm going to mention a few things that are a bit more subtle that you as the photographer can do to make photos more interesting for people to look at.  Here are some examples:

Look for compositions with Triangles
Think about how your eyes move around a picture.  Usually you start with the most prominent element, then move to the next and then the next.  If these elements form a triangle you have a tendency to keep moving around the triangle.  In this picture I first look at the chair, then I move to the beautiful light on the palm, then I see the gazebo in the distance, then I come back to the chair.  Compare with the next photo....

Notice the path acts as a leading line into the picture but then moves you quickly out of the picture to the right.  There is nothing to take your eye to the left of center in this scene.  Below is the same view with a different composition:

This is a little better, in that the path leads you into the center of the picture and not out of the picture.  You want to explore what is at the end of the path.  (This, however, is still not a great picture.  Can you tell me why?????  There needs to be a strong, distinguishing element at the end of the path to rest your eye on and study.)

Don't Place People, or Animals, etc. on the Edge of the Frame Facing Outward.
In general, a picture looks out of balance when composed like this, and the viewer quickly moves out of the frame in the direction the person is facing.  Most often we want to see more of where the person is looking and we can't.  See the next photo for a better view:

This is a more pleasing composition.  The fireman, or main subject, is not dead center but was placed on the cross lines of an invisible tic tac toe (do you remember the 'Rule of Thirds'????), and is given plenty of space in the direction he is facing.

Create a Definite Foreground, Midground and Background
Again,  one's eye typically starts at the largest object in the foreground, the rocks, then moves and rests on the next element, the fence in the middle, then on to the background interest, the Tetons.  Because there are interesting elements throughout the picture, one tends to pause and take a longer look at each individual element in the image.

Create Tension
In this image there are two distinct areas of activity on opposite sides of the picture.  First my eye goes to the most prominent subject, the two boats and large group of people.  I study what the people are doing for a moment, but don't stay long because I'm curious about what the other group of people are doing way over on the other side.  I study them for a minute but then go back to the larger group because I really didn't take long enough the first time to see everything that is going on there. Get the idea?  Back and forth.

These examples show just a few ways to keep the viewer interested in looking long enough to discover how amazing your photography is, why you took the photo and why you wanted to share it with them.  We'll talk about more ways another time.  Also remember that all rules, suggestions, helpful hints, etc., are meant to be altered, revised and downright broken as you, the artist sees fit!  (Do you remember way back when I told you what National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore said to us in a workshop...."The first rule of photography is, there are no rules!")