When digital photography became mainstream, we witnessed the birth of Instagram, where local businesses adapted to Instagram and other photography apps and tools for there promotions. The world was struck with a craze for photography. Social media wasn’t spared either. Some of the amateur designers also wanted to give photography a shot.
Many magazines and design giants started using digital images for their campaigns and publications instead of only graphic designs. It was around this time that we saw sharp and focused images with blur backgrounds emerge as the in thing. In digital photography, this is called controlling the combination of intrinsic characteristics such as color shape and size. If you know how to play with these features, you can control visual weight.
What is Visual Weight?
Visual weight is simply the force with which an element attracts the eye (just like gravity is the force with which the earth attracts any object and if you recall 5th standard science, you will know the attraction is due to the weight). Now if a visual content attracts the human eye, it is said to have “visual weight”. If you are from a creative profession, or have worked with photo-editing or design tools, you will know at some level how you are going to add weight to visuals.
To further inspire and motivate the designers of the next generation, we have collected a list of photography magazines that thrived and excelled in the past decade using the power of strong visuals. Now the photography of these magazines have followed the six important traits of visual weight.
Visual Weight Trait # 1: Density
When there are more elements jumbled into a given space, the image becomes heavy. The viewer’s attention will directly go to packed objects and darker combinations whereas the lighter objects might go unnoticed. Density can be added while using a design tool but in case of digital photography, all you need to do is adjust your camera and lens settings.
Since its inception in 2005, View Photography Magazine is a platform famous for contemporary photography. So far, they have explored and experimented with different styles in digital photography but one of the most prominent features of their images is display density that adds to the visual weight.
Amateur Photographer is a magazine based on a unique weekly pattern that features portfolios, photographer profiles and informs its audience about the latest news and gadgets. Coming from different educational backgrounds, the photographers for this magazine focus on different tactics to add visual weight. We have spooled out how they add density in this image.
Visual Weight Trait # 2: Local White Space
White space itself has no weight but when a designer or photographer intends to focus an object, he would prefer using a white background to make the object heavy and prominent. This explains why small objects to be photographed are placed against a white background.
Seattle Magazine is a regional magazine that is famous for its award-winning photography. They have featured photographers who specialize in making the best out of white space. Christine Cox is the product photographer who added weight to the shoes in display. Take a look!
Professional Photographer is a magazine which aims to equip amateur photographers with the latest trends techniques of the profession. Their use of natural colors in digital photography is exceptional but we will present to you their use of white space.
Visual Weight Trait # 3: Intrinsic Interest
Sometimes we are attracted to one particular object in an image more than anything else and it takes us a while to realize that there are more objects in that image. Although intrinsic interest depends on everyone’s personal choice but some photography magazines have learnt the tricks to present images where the intrinsic interest of a majority is made more prominent.
Wild life photography is perhaps the most challenging art that requires great patience and skill. Usually it takes lots of shots to capture the perfect one that displays intrinsic interest. The shot in question shows the kangroo in a unique pose which is an absolute attention grabber.
Aperture can be rightly named as the photographer’s abode. It’s a magazine full of life that features a combination of veteran and young talent. We have noticed its presence due to its unique ability to capture intrinsic interest in images.
Visual weight trait # 4: Depth
Imagine if there is an element in an image that needs to be focused, how can you add visual weight by giving contrast. This is where depth of field comes into play. Depth adds noticeable contrast between focused and unfocused areas.
It’s a publication that speaks volumes about the rapidly expanding world of digital imaging. American Photo is home to digital photography and design to some stunning pictures that display depth. They work with a team of expert photographers who knows how to add weight to something as small as an iris in the eye or as huge as a shed in a cluttered background.
As the name indicates, this magazine is specifically dedicated to wild life photography, although they sometimes cover nature as well. The image that we will be sharing with you displays visual depth. Do you notice the darker area and what it focuses on?
Visual Weight Trait # 5: Perceived Physical Weight
A tree weighs more than a plant and an elephant weighs more than an ant. We know this from experience but an image should portray the difference of perceived physical weight. An image of a tree should naturally have more weight.
Shutterbug is an electronic imaging photo magazine that features some classic collectibles to help the professional and amateur photographers. Take a look at this click from the magazine that adds visual weight to each individual tree. Makes one wonder how digital images can be so vocal!
10. EOS magazine
The digital edition of the magazine offers the same high-quality content as the published one without the high postage costs. It displays professionally captured images that maintain the perceived physical weight of objects within them.
Visual Weight Trait # 6: Saturation
A rule of thumb for adding weight to a visual states is that saturated colors are heavier and hence better than un-saturated colors in capturing attention.
This magazine specifically caters to digital enthusiasts featuring some of the latest high-end kit reviews. Although the magazine adds various tricks and techniques to add weight, the use of saturated colors is a key player in all. Take this image for instance, can you see the use of saturated colors?
This magazine covers the world’s best photography tips, reviews, tutorials, photo-editing and much more. In this magazine, the photographers have employed color saturation in some segments of the image which creates an overall mesmerizing effect. The grass is this image is not this shade of green in real life but it is possible with the right camera settings. Color saturation makes images visually intense.