The next entry in The Image Composer is a fun shot from my Flickr contact Marcus Lam (DodogoeSLR), who can now break his fast the way he likes to… with crunchy cereal.


The diptych is a long-standing and quite traditional form of composition. Two parts; two panels. Complementary or in opposition, there are many ways they can be combined. It is quite unusual to find a photographer who can effortlessly craft an image that is a natural diptych, without it looking forced and fake.

In this image, the simplicity of the subject – combined with the unappetising brilliance of the cereal’s palette – and the degrees of contrast between the two halves make the whole work wondrously. Colour versus monochrome. Chaos versus order. Live against the stillness of death. Sharp focus contrasted with the insubstantial fade under liquid.

And that the division between the halves is not straight, but rather an S-curve reminiscent of yin and yang, creates a circular complementary balance; the one spilling into the other displacing it. Motion despite stillness.

If the balance were the only compositional aspect of this image, it would work, but not stand out and catch one’s attention. But there are other more subtle elements at play. The whole is framed – held in place by three corners that grant perception of the world beyond the bowl (even that it be white). And then there is the placement of the spoon itself: leading line into the circular motion, and an anchor.

Excellent photography that brings together so many elements effortlessly.

  1. What a find for you!
    Variants of this scene could be found on millions of breakfast tables but nothing could ever quite equal or come close. Mind blowing all the compositional elements you have pointed out….

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