Monday, March 3, 2014

Anatomy Of An Image

Rules. Expectations. We all have to follow them in most aspects of our lives, including in our photography. BUT there are times when we have to follow our own path, our own vision. While at times that might fly in the face of what is expected or presumed, it can result in unusual or lovely or compelling images.

This image is a study in shape and color. It is not a traditional representation of a calla lily, but rather an almost abstract rendition. The fact that most of the flower is out of focus may bother some viewers since what is in focus occupies a very small portion of the picture.

But what IS in focus was chosen deliberately. By focusing only on the upper edges of the flower, the viewer can grab onto something that is sharp, and then slowly move around the rest of the image.

The complimentary colors enhance the ability to move through the image as well. The composition flows (from left to right) from green to white to purple to darker areas on the right side and bottom. The green and purple colors balance each other, the white is a bit of eye relief from the strong colors, and the dark areas act as blockers preventing the eye from leaving the image. The design is such that the eye can circle around the shapes and colors, and be kept within the image by the dark tones on the right side.

Also notice how the flower is placed in the frame. It is on a diagonal running from lower left to upper right. Had it been placed on a straight horizontal line, the flow would have been entirely different and not as interesting.

I tried several different views of this flower with different areas in focus and with greater depth of field. Ultimately I liked this one the best since it added a sense of depth, movement, and maybe even a touch of mystery.  

In order to excel in most endeavors, it is necessary to move beyond the normal, the usual, the expected.  Don’t be held back by what you have seen others do. Use that as a starting point and then follow your own vision. Experiment. Not all your attempts will work, but even the unsuccessful ones will help you hone your vision and your style.

Shutter Speed 1/400 sec.  Aperture f/2.8.  ISO 160.  Lens: Canon 100mm macro f/2.8.  Camera: Canon 40D.  Handheld.

TODAY’S QUOTE: “True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision.”  --Edith Wharton 

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