This week in the Graphic Note, I am just going to point your attention very quickly to an issue regarding images. We always want the “main content” of an image to be what our readers and viewers see first and what keeps their attention.

Sometimes small errors in how the image is rendered on a page can disturb the readers and lessen the impact of the image.
These “disturbers” can be tiny unwanted details in the image that draw undeserved attention to themselves, blighting the image by luring our eyes away from the main content. This can be an unimportant detail having too bright of a color, having stray or “trapped” white space within the image, or unfortunate cropping – among many other things.

The good news is that when you know how to detect these small disturbers removing them can be quite easy.

Here is an example of trapped white space that I found on my bank's website this week.

What makes my eye stray away from the content (which is the car key in the pocket) is the trapped white space in the upper left-hand corner of the image. It lights up this corner like a lantern, making my eyes unavoidably drawn in that direction - away from the content.
This is quite easy to fix. By moving the image slightly to the left inside the image box in the software, the trapped white space moves out of the image frame, and the upper left-hand corner becomes dark and quiet. There is nothing in this corner that will steal my attention away from what the sender of the image intended as the main content of this image.

There are ways of preventing disturbers from entering our images. Some of them can be used (or remembered!) before taking an image, and some can be edited away. We will surely be returning to this phenomenon in later Graphic Notes.

Undisturbingly yours,

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