Baie de somme

It has been a while, but it is now time for another offering from Lilian Lemonnier.

Baie  de somme

At first glance, this image appears fairly simple. And indeed, that is part of the strength of the composition, though there are a few secondary details that hold it together by subtly increasing the impact.

The subject is clear: the line of cygnets following their mother across the golden waters. While the base rules of photography say not to place a subject in the middle, it works in this case, with the leading line of seven children reaching along the centre line to their parent, just beyond the horizontal mid-point.

That everything is in silhouette adds to the impact of the scene – there is no distraction from the forms and positions.

While I would personally prefer the sun to be a little to the left, thereby placing it on the golden ratio, at least it is not in the third (which would have unbalanced the image).

That said, there is a further subtle detail that really makes this image stand out: on right and left, two rows each side of reeds/mud-bank breaking through the water’s surface. That these paired lines come nearer to each other on the second set provides a triangular element that comes to (or near, depending where you take the end of the left mud-bank to be) the lead swan. Also, this pairing of lines – despite being virtual for much of their lengths – provide a fat leading line across their axis, straight into the distance of the image.

Wonderfully peaceful; serene.

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