Very Large Array

There was no way I could pass up this opportunity; my Flickr contact Keith Rajala (maclobster) posted this magnificent artistic rendition of a documentary shot:

Very Large Array

Histogram: Very large arrayThe first detail of this shot that strikes is the minimalist tonal range used for most of it; a histogram shows an almost linear increase in the amount of each tone from black to just shy of mid grey, then a slightly faster fall-off towards white. This creates the beautiful softness of the whole, allowing sharp detail to jump out with only minimal variance in luminosity; particularly the intricacies of the mesh of tubing that supports the dish.

It does not hurt that the sky is displaying a wonderful tonal undulation, like crumpled cloth: a backdrop against which the scene can be built.

There is no question that the size of the subject is just right for the scene, pointing upwards into the infinite expanse of sky – and space, beyond – that occupies the dominant upper portion of the scene. As such, it does not matter that the dish itself is pointing out of the frame.

Bringing our eyes down, we have significantly dark tones used to lead us into the image, anchored in the bottom right corner: not the path but the railings. Should the eye ever drift from the soft magnificence of the dish, it is immediately captured by those lines and drawn back up. This does not mean that we cannot stop along the way, detouring to the other photographer: a touch of scale added to the whole and showing that there is life.

Yes, one picture that jumped out at me, even as a thumbnail, and would not let go of my attention until I had given it the review it deserved.

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