A place to think about composition in photography

Posts tagged “Yorkshire Dales

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.

 


Cray Barn

Another Easter shot taken in the Yorkshire Dales at  Cray near Buckden

Cray Barn, Yorkshire Dales

Cray Barn, Yorkshire Dales

Laying down to get this shot with a wide angle lens meant that I could get the foreground detail in focus while still showing the context of the area.

If you look carefully you’ll see the barn in the distance is slightly out of focus, this is deliberate.  The contrast in focus makes the foreground seem sharper.

The deep blue sky was enhanced slightly with a polarising filter when I took the shot.  An added advantage was that the polariser took out some of the reflections from the grass making the green leaves a more intense colour.

A lovely walk on a lovely day and a nice picture to go with it.

My wife, Jayne, liked it so much she made my Easter card from this picture.


Fountains of Light

This time the title refers to Fountains Abbey, a world heritage site in Yorkshire in the UK. The 12th century abbey ruins are lit by coloured lights for Christmas and the opportunity to take photographs is irresistible.

Here are some of the pictures that caught my eye, I hope you like them.

Stone vaulted chamber at Fountains Abbey lit by coloured lights

Stone vaulted chamber at Fountains Abbey

If you’ve not been, I can recommend this place.  It has a tranquil beauty that is enhanced at night.  Here is another view of the same place.  I’m deliberately using the rule of 3 in this picture.

Vaulted columns at Fountains Abbey

Vaulted columns at Fountains Abbey

Let me know what you think, I’d be fascinated by your comments.


Walking on Water

Another watery theme.

The way the image is broken up into myriad pieces makes the eye work harder to decypher the picture.

Walking on Water

Walking on Water

As mentioned in previous posts our perception filters are tuned to recognise the human form.  here the brian has to work very hard to make sense of this image, however I’ll bet that most people will recognise the shape of a man in blue jeans.

 


Looking at a Landscape

Our perception is tuned to recognise patterns for priority attention.  Probably a successful survival adaptation.

Take a look at this picture:

Walkers in the Yorkshire Dales

Walkers at Buckden

Did you notice the people in the picture?  Just about everyone will.

  • The people are the starting point of interest in this landscape.
  • They command our attention.
  • Then we notice the rest of the landscape
  • Then return to the people again.

The people occupy only 0.5% of the picture area. (yes, I measured it)

This means that we place 99.5% of the picture as a lower priority.

We have an automatic editing ability that allows us to focus our attention on a view and make rapid decisions about it.

When we think we are seeing a landscape, are we really looking?  David Hockney has thought deeply about this

So What?…. well we can make assumptions and miss things when we see a view.

Looking is much harder to do and takes time.

Making images that connect with others means that they must be different.   One source of this difference is cultivating the ability to look.  I’m trying harder to look, are you?


A Different Perspective on Buckden Trees

Deep blue skies always attract my attention.

Looking up, looking down and behind you when out walking in places you know well is a good habit to acquire.  It makes you see more and challenges your assumptions.

I’m still playing with capturing different perspectives.  Creating a slightly mysterious twist on a familiar landscape really appeals to the iconoclast in me.

Buckden Trees

Buckden Trees

This picture is another relatively straight shot with minor tweaks in Photoshop to remove spots and specks, and some exposure adjustment.

I like this, hope you do too


Painting-like effects in photography without photoshop

This is a straight shot, apart from a little cropping the photograph is pretty much as taken.

Under the trees

Under the trees

On Sharpness…

This has a painterly like quality to it.

Too often as photographers we are pressed to create pin-sharp images where every single detail is resolved in perfect order.

It doesn’t have to be like that, well not all the time anyway.

One of the difficulties in composing photographs, is how to be different.  this sounds easy but it is incredibly hard to do.  There are lots of people out there taking photographs and adding to the global collection most of these are sort of carbon copies of one another.

In our mass-produced society being different is  a highly prized condition.  When you think you have something different, tell people about it, add to the richness of human creativity.  If you find out it has been done before well you can always give it another go.

Being different makes you think harder and live a little more intensely, isn’t that a fascinating thought?