Why we like some images more than others? - Part 1 - Composition

Why we like some images more than others? - Part 1 - Composition

August 27, 2019

“Life is all about perception. Positive versus negative. Whichever you choose will affect and more than likely reflect your outcomes.” 

Sonya Teclai


We live in a very fast moving world where there is a lot of information. People don’t have time to look at everything and even less to analyze this. When was the last time an image made you stop for more than a few seconds? Do you remember any image which you wanted to look at twice? There are illustrations everywhere - it is really hard nowadays to draw anyone’s attention.

If you want to sell something - a real estate, product, idea, the goal is to attract a viewer to explore an image, engage the audience and hold the attention once somebody will take a closer look. 

Once I had a fruitful discussion with my friend, who is not an artistic kind of person. He asked me how it is that sometimes he simply likes an image, another time he is not even interested in. Every day he looks at tons of illustrations on social media and only a few of them draw his attention. 

During our conversation, I pointed out some issues which affect our perception of viewing images. I thought this will be valuable for you as well so I collected here the main points.

The human brain likes things that are familiar.  As human beings, we love balance because it is right in front of us - in nature. We don’t have to think about the rules, we feel that something is right or not.

But the thing is that these rules can help you to understand why some pictures are better than others. And it applies not only to the painting itself but also to art as photography or architectural visualizations. You might not even think about it, but using these rules is what makes you like an image. That's why it is so important to have this point in mind during the process of creating and choosing an image.

In the first part, I’m going to discuss the first of four main rules that influence our perception of viewing images - Composition.




The composition is one of the most important rules in creating a perfect image for any purpose.

Some of the tricks can be used to draw a viewer’s attention for particular things (what you think is important in your project, what do you want to show your target audience).

Well, if it is so important, let me explain how it works.

Composition describes placement of visual elements in an image. It is all about putting together objects in a way which emphasizes the parts you want to by making them stand out.

Our studio always starts from the basics in order to interest your potential clients and then to keep the attention as long as possible. If these are right, you have more chances that somebody will see your building, product or an idea instead of others!



At the beginning, the idea should come first when we want to determine the focus point. Asking yourself some questions will help with finding the solution. What will be the message coming from an image? Which elements of the design should be a center of interest? Or what you really want to show to the audience?

It is all about dominance and influence, the balance between the essential aspects of the project and these less important ones.

Here are the techniques used by the artists to emphasize the most important bits of an image:


  • Using strong saturated color.

In this image, the idea was to show the collection of products - the tables. Because the background is toned, the saturated tops of the tables - stand out. The viewer’s attention is automatically directed to the tables.



  • High contrast where the important things are.

The main goal in this visualization was to emphasize the outside garden and its connection with the bathroom. By using the high lighting contrast between interior and exterior, the garden is exposed, and the viewer’s eyes are automatically directed to this area.



  • A camera focused on the part that the artist wants to show.

These examples show how different the viewer’s perception can be, depending on the focal point the artist chooses. In the first image, the attention is drawn to the bunch of flowers. Second one, emphasize the inner part of the kitchen.



  • Creating a movement.

By adding the movement to the curtains, the viewer’s eyes are directed to the house which is the object of this visualization.



  • Placing figures and faces.

Figures and faces arouse the interest immediately and draw the viewer’s attention in their direction. This part will be explained more detailed in the second part of the article.





There is a lot of types of composition, however, I am explaining the main ones below.


  • Symmetry.

This is a perfect example of balance - one half (top/bottom, left/right, diagonal split) of an image is identical (or nearly identical) to the other. Symmetry makes the buildings looking powerful - that’s why you can find a lot of photography of churches or governmental buildings using these rules.



  • The rule of thirds

Imagine that you are breaking the images down into nine equal pieces ( three horizontally and three vertically).

The theory behind this is to place the points of interest in the intersections or along the lines.



  • Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio is a mathematical ratio which allows an artist to perfectly balance a composition. You can find a lot of examples of this rule in nature (shell, plants, human body, etc).



Composition is a foundation. So first, think about what message you want to give to your recipient. Than consider how composition can help with this. It’s really important to figure out  this at the beginning so you can arrange the visual elements as it’s the best for your goal.

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