Day 67

This next offering from Elise Hibbard (elise*marie) took me by surprise when I first saw it.

Day 67

A combination of in-focus water and out-of-focus lights may not feel like the greatest compositional structure, but – as demonstrated here – it can be a powerful combination. Attractive and balanced.

Perhaps the most dominant compositional feature here is the layering. Yes, it is somewhat obvious in the fore and background subjects, when mentioned, but perhaps not a feature most would see for its compositional value without the prompt. The key, here, is that the background subjects – the lights – are so clearly delimited a specular highlights, rather than just being soft variations in the colour. Indeed, they are so precise that the nine blade of the aperture can be clearly distinguished.

The distinction into foreground and background is incomplete, and therein the real power of the layers comes into play. Yes, there is one later in the foreground, with the water droplets. There is a second layer of lights. But not all the light make up that second layer. Two lights – the blue and the soft pink to the right of it – are on a third layer, further back. It is this depth, and the way those lights interact with the tone of the nearer specular highlights, that make the colours here so seductive.

Of course, there is the general arrangement of the lights within the frame that should be considered. While there are no elements clearly sitting on golden ratio intersections (the blue light is nearest, sitting on a vertical, and between primary and secondary horizontally), the dominant anchoring arc of lights from the bottom left points fairly well to the lower right primaries’ intersection, while the two lights top right alight nicely with the upper left intersection.

Now for another very intriguing aspect of this image – a compositional consequence of the subject: while the image it perfectly square, it has a definite vertical direction to it’s dimensions. This is the result of gravity, and water on glass: a semblance of vertical pattern can be discerned, streaks, between the droplets. But there is no matching sequence when considering the rain from a horizontal perspective.

An amazingly delicate combination of tones and forms.

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