It’s been a little while since my Flickr friend Ethan (cormend) last featured herein, but his Burmese adventure continues to provide some spectacular shots.

Aquaculture (V)

Something of a classic – shot many times by others – this is a powerful example of simplicity. The scene is well known: a life aboard a small boat, working the waters to survive. But not every example of this scene balances the elements so well. Here, there is little more than a boat spanning the width of the frame, sitting on the upper golden ratio line with a sea of patterned negative space as a lead-in, but it is that very simplicity that makes it work. It is the placement of the fisherman on the secondary golden ratio, facing out of the scene, that strengthens that sense of emptiness, giving the impression that he is all alone in an infinitely large world. (Yes, I know, there are the other ships on the horizon, but they are more mirage than real.)

The casting of the scene into silhouette also serves to make it more impersonal: we, the viewers, may be able to observe and empathise, but we are not a part of the scene; we cannot be a part of his world.

There is one additional detail in this shot that is a very effective extra: the triangular curve of reflected sunlight off the nearest wavelets – an anchor that suggests the distance may not be quite as uncrossable as the rest of the scene implies.

Serene yet strong.

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