Archive for the ‘ Mood ’ Category

Koto dur ar koto dur

Back again, having waited far too long with this next image (and what remains in the to-post queue), with another stunningly serene image from my friend Aftab Uzzaman.

Koto dur ar koto dur

Unlike many of the images have posted here over the last year and a half, this one does not include any particularly strong golden ratios. There is no strong diagonal. The suggestion of anchoring is tenuous at best. Indeed, there is very little in this image; it is the emptiness – the near-infinite expanse of negative space, given meaning through the subtle gradient from blues to orange, and back – that makes for the key draw here. The image’s detail, mostly silhouetted, is packed into the thinnest slice of the scene. We can drift through and beyond, with nary a distracted though.

Of course, for those in need of a little more compositional integrity, there is always the tightened S-curve in the river’s flow as it disappears into the distance.


Washer Woman

Another shot from my Flickr contact Ethan‘s trip through Burma – it’s all in the little details…

Washer Woman

There are three parts to this image, though most people probably only notice the first – the most prominent – which grabs the viewer’s attention. That primary element is the subject: the washer woman, in stark silhouette, but distinct enough in form that there is no doubt what she is doing, or of her role in society. She is the balance that holds all else together: yin to society’s yang, which is reflected in the wrapping curvature of her body shape and the complementary form that is not silhouetted.

The placement of this balancing symbol perfectly on the intersection of lower primary and left-side secondary golden ratios is a clear element of mathematical balance. Though the image might still work otherwise, the impact would be nowhere near as evocative.

The second element is the secondary scene: the land beyond the lake, with its faint layering of trees: a cascade of softer shadow-silhouettes as one climbs above the secondary golden ratio that is the water’s edge, towards the far distance of the sky.

And lastly, the emptiness of one of the most powerful framing elements of all: negative space. The expanse of water fills at least half the image, and yet it is not there, but for the texture that gives it scale.

Undeniably powerful.

Essence Of Venice..

I was recently introduced to the work of Stockholm-based photographer Peter Levi, whose work tends towards the black and white – simply because it lets the spirit of the scene shine though.

This image is more than just a solid composition: it is an inspirational technique; an approach to capturing the essence of a setting that I have hot seen before, but which is perfectly suited to the Venetian mystique. San Giorgio Maggiore sits in sharp focus, in the distance, the horizon almost on the centre line, surrounded by the gaping expanse of negative space that is a cloudy sky and the silvery waters of the Laguna Veneta. The monastery’s façade and bell tower are placed perfectly on primary and secondary golden ratios, balanced by the lower profile of the isle extending right-wards.

But these elements are only a part of the scene. The real magic is in the foreground, blurred by both depth of field, and the motion of a the waterways during a 79 second exposure. The triplet of gondolas, ghosted in their gentle sway, truly does capture the spirit of this sinking city…

A masterpiece of imaginative technique enhancing composition.


Next up, a little Italian flavour from Keith Rajala‘s archives – the town of Montalcino.


While one could think that the processing of this image is what makes its composition – the textured sepia that gives it the feeling of an old-style scenic engraving – it is the arrangement of the elements that makes it. The processing simply adds to a mood captured in this timeless place. The dominant sky, with the roiling cloudhead, provides a backdrop to keep the interest of anyone who fails to find fascination within the body subject; that there are parallels between the shapes of these clouds and the village’s skyline only help incorporate them into the main scene.

Within the real subject area, we find a dominant leading line from near the lower right corner to the upper left golden ratio (mid-point of the church’s roofline). As this line is countered by the rise of the hill from the other side, we have an open triangle leading the eye up the the top of the village. An interesting aside on the triangle theme is the presence of a second one in the tone of the right-side roofline, brought about by perspective.

And to cap things off, we also have the road in the foreground, providing an anchoring balance point, and the implication – through the arrangement of the nearer roofs on that side, of an S-curve.

So easily mistakable for an engraving from a time long past.


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.

Every angel is terrible.

It has indeed been a month since last featured something from Jessica Islam Lia (evening sun.) This, though, demanded attention.
Chiaroscuro portraiture can be a very expressive, emotional medium. The ability to capture the lines that make up emotional visualisation allows the image to be simplified – only the bare minimum presented. Here, the use of extreme lighting and dark clothing allows the model’s face to stand out in an empty field; an area given dimension by the lighting on the wall.

Her sombre mood and stark beauty combine to a dangerous allure: powerful and mysterious; the pent up potential to be terrifying. This is enhanced by her placement within the dark portion of the tonal diptych, and the placement of her eyes so high in the frame, looking down on us from the secondary golden ratio.

Truly captivating beauty; there is compulsion to abase myself before it.

Silver Surf

There is something about Four Mile Beach that leads Andy Poupart (andy_57) to endless stunning compositions.

One could easily wonder, if taking only a mathematical eye to this composition, why it works so well. The answer is quite obvious when one does not look for golden ratios: it is in the diagonal, which then bends to take the viewer deeper into the distance before breaking apart in the surf to turn rightwards again – a subtle S-curve. It is also the ark of cloud acting as a corner-borders while also, in its streaked leading edge, conveying a sense of motion that emphasises the draw of the first-mentioned curve.

If we then augment that with a dreamy texture in the immediate foreground and Chiaroscuro contrast in the near water/sand/rocks, the power is undeniable. But to temper it with the pastels of a sunset – to balance calligraphic harshness with the soft brush of evening light – truly releases the magic of the moment.

It is a perfect moment, artistically preserved.

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