Making your subject stand out in a scene has a bit to do with contrast, but those aren’t the only methods. As the folks from Weekly Imogen demonstrate in a video after the jump, there are many other ways to do this. Some of the best include motion blur, depth of field (they call focus) and positioning in the image in accordance with the rule of thirds.
Some of the other well known ways involve color contrast, and contrasting shapes (aka geometry.) These all work very well but we believe that contrast, depth of field, and colors are the strongest ways. On the more technical side, including a flash of some sort to get a 3D lighting look and add micro-contrast will help even more.
On the more artistic side, what really draw’s a person into the scene to begin with has to start with excellent content in the image. The reason why Bresson’s images are so captivating is because of the fact that he captures such beautiful moments. The same goes for Steve McCurry and many others. Intimacy and appealing to human emotions/sense will make someone be more drawn in–the latter is most effective with food photography.
We’ve got the video after the jump.