A place to think about composition in photography

Content contrast

Le Tour – Kettlewell

The Tour de France comes to Yorkshire in July 2014 and the locals along the route have been decorating all the villages with a variety of yellow flags, jerseys and bikes.

The locals have a long tradition of set dressing their villages, many have scarecrow festivals, now they have a scarecrow on a bike

I saw this straw man just over the bridge into the delightful village of Kettlewell.  A friend of mine is lucky enough to live here.

Straw man on a bike at Kettlewell for the Tour de France

Straw man on a bike at Kettlewell for the Tour de France

The composition is fairly straightforward, the dominant colour is Yellow which advances and contrasts against the grey clouds in the background.  The main lead-in is the road, also look for two minor lead-ins that echo one another, the white dashed road markings on the left and the yellow flags offering a similar punctuation on the right.

Oh and this was taken on my iPhone.



Content Contrast

Having too much of one theme in a photograph can sometimes be ok but is ok good enough?

Try introducing a contrast of content as well as colour in a picture and you can improve the composition and make it more interesting.

In this first picture you’ll see the contrast between the door, the bottle and the brush, boldly human artefacts.  the flowers in the pots add a splash of contrasting colour as well as a natural touch.

I shot these photographs a few days ago at Parceval Hall in Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales.  A lovely place.

doorstep flowers 1
Doorstep Flowers 1

In the comparison picture I moved a little to the right

Potted Flowers
Potted Flowers

Can you see how the brush is now a distraction and not part of the composition.

The overall effect is nice , partly because your attention is brought more explicitly to the reducing height of the pots that echo the steps on the left of the photograph but I prefer the first picture as there is more interest.  The bottle brush and door bring the human presence into the imagination, I wonder who lives there?