Archive for April, 2012

For every dream that burnt out..

It’s time for one more from Ananya Rubayat (dream_maze) who is being playful with light and dark…

For every dream that burnt out..

The most obvious aspect of this image is the Chiaroscura – the play of extreme lighting and subtle details in the folds of darkness. The contrast creates an interesting diptych: with a different image in each, the one playing off the other, but both also acting as negative space for the alternate. In that respect, this is an amazingly intricate image.

On the right, with the eye placed vertically at the midpoint and horizontally on the primary golden ratio, Ananya is a subtle, mysterious form, looking out at a bright world – almost as though she is looking into some other world, or it is her gaze that is lighting it up. The light is blindingly bright, so empty.

From the left, we have a double arc (thereby forming an interesting S-curve), the one outlining the realm of light, and the inner a brighter inner world. The whole is contained by the dominant expanse of dark negative space encroaching upon it, while the magic of shadows and motion plays out within its space.

A truly gorgeous piece of work; spellbinding.



Marcus Lam (DodogoeSLR) has only one previous mention herein, but that is largely because he doesn’t post enough. When he does, many are impressive shots, as this not-really-ex.


There are many things one can do with portraiture photography to make the the image really stand out. Most involve a slight twist on the standard view of a person. Here, there are two of those techniques used, and several other compositional elements that make this an excellent work. The most obvious differentiator here is the use of a landscape rather than a portrait view of a subject who is, essentially, upright. This provides borders in the form of the negative space background, allowing the eye to wander sideways a little, but always be drawn back to Erica. The second twist is the choice to light her back, throwing the face into high contrast, and allowing the overall form of her perch atop those heels to dominate over any overt femininity.

While those two aspects may be the elements that make the image stand out, it is the compositional elements that keep one glued to it: the prevalence of triangles (head and bent arm; body to extended hand; tighter body and leg shape), and the way they interact with fine but stark lines, which bring the eye upwards to that devilish smirk.

It may be a simple shot, but it is subtle; enticing.

Sunset Light On Four Mile Beach

There was a recent post from Andy Poupart (andy_57) that I very nearly posted. Luckily, I passed it up, and this gem, even stronger, came along.

Besides the all too obvious stunning colours captured here, three is some marvellous additional elements of composition that play into the image. Perhaps the most obvious is the triplet of stones in the lower left corner. These achieve many things at once: they are foreground interest, anchor, and the traces where the surf has run off them provide a very clear direction/leading lines. This sense of direction is supported by the foreground interest on the other side of the image, where, thanks to a suitably low shooting position, the flow-lines created by the water in the sand are an enthralling texture (view it large to see).

And so far, we have not extended any mentionable distance into the image. Going further, some of the gems of the lighting show up: the backlit wave breaking and the glowing cliff-face that finds itself reflected in the middle distance. The image is so full of detail that nothing can count as negative space. As well as the sense of direction from the lower left corner, we have a similar diagonal running the other way across the image, formed by the combination of shoreline and cliff.

Lastly, the pairing of the cliff on one side and the break in the clouds on the other, where the setting sun makes the heavens glow, act as border elements to draw the eye into the heart of the image, through the gap in the rocks.

So perfect a location, wherein one could easily abandon a soul.

time machine.

Despite the reality of the numbers, it occasionally feels as though Jessica Islam Lia (evening sun.) gets more than her share of mentions within this blog. In truth, she is now jointly sixth-most-featured. Her shots, though, are always powerful

The main power of this shot is in the basic visual execution – time made very real: the setting sun, the most primeval symbol of time that we know – the inevitability of the passing of one day – providing a backdrop to a very simple timepiece: the hourglass. The colours obviously play into the emphasis here: the swath of red-and-orange, the sky aflame, the day being burnt away; soon to be gone. But it is also the composition that works to the image’s advantage: the clarity of the sky through the glass, textured in silhouette by the residual grains in the upper bulb, drawing the eye.

Then there are the triangles that come into play: the double-triangle of the hourglass’s neck, a focal point (which happens to sit vertically right on a golden ratio, and horizontally perfectly between primary and double); and also the one formed by the two subjects: the hourglass as base and the sun as pinnacle. On the subject of golden ratios, the sun sits perfectly on an intersection of these: the horizontal double and the vertical secondary.

Emphatic in its totality, and yet serenely peaceful.

Spring clouds

I wondered once how long it would take for one of my longest-term Flickr-friends, Katie (kateach), to end up featured here. Now, I know…

Spring clouds

This image is quite unusual in the extremities of colour/tonal contrast it embraces, while managing to still balance impact. Indeed, it is perhaps because of the play of these contrasts that it works. At its most basic a quite simple diptych – green and gold supporting mottled white amidst a sea of azure – there are additional touches that make it a pleasure to behold.

Within the lower portion of the image (could I claim golden ratios are involved, given that the line is haphazard?), the stunningly backlit rape flowers play the role of foreground interest, themselves anchored in the proto-darkness of the stalks. It is perhaps beneficial to the image that there is no streaking or sense of direction within the cloud cover, for this allows the almost haphazard textures to enthral – the levels of detail that allow us to find the shapes of leaping (fat) men, or somersaulting sheep.

But as I said initially, it is not this simple two-part structure that makes the image: it is the use of an almost shy silhouette as in interweaving element that really holds the whole together. That tree provides the real anchor for the whole image: the sense of direction that sweeps the eye across the full expanse of the young year.

Refreshing simplicity.

try expanding your capacity for wonder

My friend Kate Mellersh posted this unfocused beauty a few days ago…

There is something about the abstraction of a completely out-of-focus image that can be extremely appealing, especially as here where that lack of focus translates into strangely patterned specular highlights (try complaining about the imperfection in your lens when it creates effects like this). What makes this image work so well is the motion – the flow of the white spots from the upper left side towards us, spreading slightly as they flow towards the lower right corner. The orange highlights acting as a second layer to this theme of movement anchor the image in that corner, and the green sets up balance on the left. Add in the soft blue background and we have a full palette.

Magical: there is no other single word to describe it.


And I now add another name to the roster of those featured herein – my Flickr contact Rejetto.

While some might consider the artistic – painting-like – feel of this image rendered in black and white is its strongest draw, I have to disagree. It is solidly composes, with a dominant structure of triangles, and a very definite direction: the eye is drawn inexorably from right to left. The dominant triangle has the tree as its base and extends beyond the right edge as the lighter background is constrained by other elements that have survived the processing. There is a second major triangle in the tree’s own shape; this one also hosting a very fetching S-curve.

And yes, the processing is a part of the composition here: the blow-out of the middle-ground, allows the tree to play such a dominant role, while the foreground provides an anchor to that negative space. All told, a solid balance between compelling composition and pure artistry.

A work of art.

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