Quote Originally Posted by mhv View Post
It would be hard for me to say what is the "subject" of the picture in the lower left corner: the lake? the mountains? or the dark portion of ground? Likewise, in the next picture, which is the main subject: the mountain in light or the mountain in the shadow? On the next photo, it's clearer to me that there is a main subject, the group of round boulders, and the effect is different...........
As for the topic of “what is the main subject”, I have always thought of it this way… The elements of a composition consist of a main subject, a supporting cast and any number of neutral objects.

An object is neutral if its contribution to the impact of the image is of little or no importance. Sort of like something that’s there but we wouldn’t notice if it wasn’t or if something else were in its place. This could be the sky or grass or water etc.

A supporting cast object is something that enhances the image with its presence but the image could stand up if it wasn’t there.

The main subject is simple. It’s the one thing that “has” to be there. Without this element, the image has no compelling reason to exist.