A place to think about composition in photography

Emotional

Red Poppies in Suffolk

I like poppies, the scarlet is a perfect contrast to a green landscape.  This caught my attention when out walking on holiday in Suffolk, UK.

I could have stepped a few metres to the right or left and captured many more poppies but you can have too much of a good thing.  Those of you with a composition mindset will notice the poppies are also placed almost on an intersecting third, but not quite. Again you can have too much of a good thing.

I wanted the contrast to work on a few levels, colour being just one, focus is another.  The intimacy of the poppies gradually makes you aware of the open space of the field behind.  Notice the horizon, it is right at the top of the image, a thin sliver of darkness against the diminishing blandness of the wheat field.  This implies the space behind the foreground is large but not infinite.

Look closer and you’ll notice upward slanting diagonals in the wheat field contrast with the slight downward slant of the horizon. In Northern and Western cultures our visual language interprets a left to right slope as up, optimistic, reassuring.  The bright colour against the wheat field is happy, positive, enthusiastic.

Red Poppies

Red Poppies in wheat field in Suffolk

I felt good taking this picture and still feel good looking at it now.

 

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Red

This is another straight shot (apart from minor cropping)

Taken with my iPhone.  It was fascinating watching the way it struggled with the lighting conditions.

I like the mystery this photograph creates, what is it, how did he do that?  For me it is one of those images you can lose yourself in.  It is deliberately abstract. The objective reality and technical details are irrelevant.

See what you think:

red7x5


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.


Friends

I’m exploring different ways of looking at people.

Two friends walking together

Friends

I like the contrast of the sharp graphic lines with the softer edges of the figures.


Composing for Emotions

Emotions are tricky things.  It is so easy to get it wrong and strike a discordant note.

All photographs evoke an emotional response at some level.

In my experience pictures with powerful emotional content are rarely manufactured, and tend to be found.

I found this composition – I’m interested in what you think:

toy swing pram  copyright adrian nixon

Toy Swing Pram IMG_6395

People I’ve shown this to have reacted in the same way, it seems to pull at the heartstrings.

The composition is quite simple using framing and a central theme that compliments the portrait format.

The blurred nature of the picture seems appropriate too.

If you are affected by this picture I can offer reassurance if you leave a comment.