Archive for May, 2012

The hype

Finally, I get to add my friend Samia (neelgolapi) to the list of those featured in this blog; and with the blue/pink her nickname implies.

The hype

For a subject that is mostly “flat”, the controlled depth of field here is impressive. But that is a feature coming from deeper consideration: the immediate compositional brilliance lies in the placement of the elements, and the echoes in the folds. Horizontally, the bud is on the double golden ratio. Its vertical position may appear ad hoc, but it actually sits perfectly on the 45° diagonal out of the bottom left corner.

The folds are something special. The play of light and dark creates leading lines, which contain as would concentric rings. Here, though, they are misshapen, adding triangular structures to the pattern. The one enclosed by the next, creates a flow that draws the eye as inexorably as the contrast between the pink and the blue. That the folds are repeated inside the bud only adds to the draw.


Triangles And Flowing Lines

Returning to his excellent photography of beautiful women, Andy Poupart now presents us with a piece of fine art.

Leaving aside any discussion regarding the sensuality of the subject, we have here a finely composed piece of art: light and dark, form conveyed through subtle touches of detail; a dominant diagonal, extending through tightly controlled lighting into a frame-filling triangle; and the whole thing anchored in the lower right corner.

We even have, as a bonus, the echo of parallel lines: layering.



Showing that his last post to be featured here is the start of a captivating series, Lilian Lemonnier regales us with the sharp image of a bird in flight…

Scène  de chasse

There are many elements here that make this a captivating image. Yes, the subject is in itself compelling, but it is not the end unto itself. Without the lighting, it would not have so magical an appeal. The owl’s position, just outside the golden ratio line, with the undeniable sense of motion into the frame, conveys the sense of motion, and speed: it clearly is a chase.

The sense of motion is further emphasised by the position of the “horizons”: the lower edge of the grass-line on the golden ratio and the boundary between distant structures and evening sky at the midpoint. These act as leading lines for the bird’s flight, cutting effortlessly through a world that could easily be dominated by negative space.

And, of course, there is the beauty resulting from the subject being caught with its wings near the bottom of their arc: it would be far less interesting without the self-made triangle to balance the bird’s body atop.


end of sand

Picking up a month on, we have another, very different, work from Florian Sprenger (mav_at).

The rendering of this image in black and white allows the compositional elements to stand out; it provides an interplay of artistic form without the distraction of colour. Most obvious is the texture in the near sands, the fingerprint of the first dune: foreground interest, patterns and leading lines all rolled into one. It has the added benefit that the leading lines are arrayed in two sets: one that follows their direction, and the other across the grain of the pattern.

The scope of the foreground interest is quite impressive in itself, reaching as it does almost to the upper left intersection of primary golden ratios; nearly half the image’s surface taken up with this pure abstraction. The extension of the primary dune to the right picks up another technique hinted at in the shape of the foreground: triangles. This is repeated in the texture of the mountains beyond the sands.

This image is evidence, if more were really needed, that one does not need to dominate a scene with the subject to give it power. Indeed, the emptiness of half the image can convey far more than the larger subject in the distance.

A powerful study in tone and form.


It’s been a while since David Gumbrell (Auribins) has featured here, but he has been far from inactive. It’s again time for his art…


It does not take many elements to create a pattern; to build a compelling composition that holds the eye. To master such simplicity is a very useful skill for an artist. It shows an ability to understand the basics, to work with minimal elements, rather than expecting a scene to create interest through complex interplays.

Here, it is clearly the triangular theme that dominates, both in the overall form, and the inner structure; given extra impact by the double-corner anchoring. The tight crop, eliminating one corner, adds a sense of mystery: we know what is beyond that point, but have to wonder if it expands again, or is that the end of the story? There is, interestingly, a second pattern within this simple mesh: the brightness of the lights, which add an extra dimension to the basic form.

Anything but trivial.

Jenny Downing

beachedIn a new series of feature pages, we revisit now the work of Jenny Downing. Over the year this blog has been running, fifteen of Jenny’s pictures have graced its digital pages. Herein, a recap of her work, her voyage of compositional discovery, and a few of her own favourites over time.


Kotha dao

It has been quite a wait, but my friend Aftab Uzzaman has finally returned from his busyness to post another classic composition.

Kotha daoThe scene here is a simple enough one, with a single dominant compositional theme, which spawns a handful of secondary elements. The core here is perspective, the receding of parallel lines into the distance. The two dominant lines are clearly the quayside and the body of the boat, though the boat finds itself shadowed by a second line out of the lower left corner, which runs almost at a 45° incline. Between them, these lines anchor the image.

Such a combination of leading lines inevitably forms many a triangle, all flowing towards that same vanishing point somewhere just over the horizon. There are additional triangles to be found in the rigging and second boat, which only help pull the eye deeper into the scene.

The whole is undeniably serene.

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