A place to think about composition in photography

Colour harmony

Blue and White

A bit of winter sunshine, taken in Greece.

Looking Up

Looking Up

I was drawn to the simplicity of the stark geometric shapes and reduced colour palette.

This is a block of flats, painted white to reflect the merciless heat of the sun, with a blue sun screen canopy on the top floor.

I thought about photoshopping the bushes that stick out from each floor, but they break up the brutality of the architecture and add interest.  These distractions from the strong composition add interest that makes the viewer look longer.

The thought processes can flash through one’s mind – “I wonder what they are,  Ah, herb bushes.  Someone must look after them.  A hint of humanity.  I wonder what it’s like to live there…”

Composition is more than pure geometry, it gets engaging when our curiosity is linked to people, even in small ways.

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Tree Shadows

We were staying with some friends in London.  I like London a lot.  I first came here when I was ten, on a school trip and my love for this city has never left me.  I am always impressed by the quiet spaces  and secret places that London preserves to insulate us from the noise and rush of the city.

One sunny morning I spent some time in quiet contemplation on the balcony.  I was looking at the London skyline and watching the jets glide overhead, wondering where all those people were coming from and going to.  Then I looked down.

I didn’t have my ‘proper’ camera to hand, so out came my trusty iPhone again.  A quick dust of the lens and I had this picture.

tree shadows

tree shadows

Threes are often quoted as a pleasing number for composing pictures.  I do have an iconoclastic streak when it comes to rules, but in this case I’ll go along with that.  Especially when it helps to be playful with the language.

This works for me.  I hope it works for you too.


Curves

Colours and lines attract me.

This picture is a variant on the lead-in style of composition.

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Curves

I like the simplicity of the composition, the dynamic sweeps of the curves are a powerful effect.

You’ll know I’m quite aware of the horizon in my pictures.  In this one the eye searches out a line and the only one that matches our preconceptions is the roughly horizontal line right at the top of the image.  This adds to the powerful effect and holds the attention. Well, it works for me anyway, tell me what you think…


Three Dots in Manchester

I find producing these abstract pictures rather rewarding.

This is another one taken on my iPhone.  It is a straight shot again, very little done in photoshop except for minor cropping.

Three Dots - Manchester

Three Dots – Manchester

This is part of the one square km series as this was taken within a small area.

Working within constraints of technology, time and space is something I find fascinating.  I hope you do too.


Pink Orange

Playing with my iPhone camera is still producing interesting pictures.  I have a new rather powerful SLR camera to replace my last one and more pictures from that later, and probably musings on the technology fetish aspect of photographers.

In the meantime, it’s not really about the technology, rather about what you do with it that counts.

Stripping back photographs to a minimal essence is a rather rewarding and somehow meditative experience.  It makes me think harder and I need that.

Again this one is a straight shot, apart from a little cropping.  In case you wonder why these are cropped, we make cards from these and many others that you won’t see on the blog and we give them to friends.   I’m not doing this to make money.

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Pink Orange

 


Looking Up

I’m playing with my iPhone.  Not a bad camera on this toy.

Kings Cross

Kings Cross


Butter pats

Humble things attract my attention, especially if well lit.

Butter pats at Erddig by Adrian Nixon

Butter pats at Erddig

This slanting sunlight gently picked out the detail of these wooden butter pats on a whitewashed wall at Erddig in Wales.

The level of detail is especially pleasing as all the light and dark tones have reproduced nicely in this picture.

It radiates a kind of timeless calm for me.  I could come back on another summer day in a hundred years and still find the same scene.