Archive for the ‘ Motion ’ Category

Bow Glacier Falls

It has been a few months since I last featured any of Keith Rajala‘s work, but that does not mean there has been any let-up in his quality.

Bow Glacier Falls

Reminiscent in some ways of Adams’ mountain shots – simple, compelling, with very carefully managed tonal ranges to bring out the finer details – this shot provides a sense of majesty, but controlled enough not to be overbearing.

As is de rigueur for a scene like this, it is perfectly proportioned: the foreground interest anchors in both lower corners, drawing the eye up against the water’s flow to the lower left intersection of primary golden ratios, where the detail in the tonal range keeps the eye endlessly occupied. Every part of the centre of the image includes a detail of form or texture – or nature’s rugged beauty – that could be studied indefinitely. And then the eye finally finds the falls themselves: hanging from the intersection of the right primary and upper tertiary golden ratios; a sweeping arc that tumbles lazily down the cliffs until to sweeps into the foreground path to complete a stunning S-curve.

Without doubt, a masterpiece of mountain scenery.


3 Mallard Ducks

In what is sure to become a regular featuring within these postings, recently added contact Adrian shows off more stunning composition and general photographic appeal.

3 Mallard Ducks

The basics of this image are very straightforward: we have a silhouetted foreground subject which provides a subtle diagonal over a soft and dreamy scene, lit by a newly risen sun placed on the primary golden ratio intersection. Already, it is textbook – contrast of solidity countering the softness of the tones employed.

And then the whole is taken up a notch, beyond the serene, by the inclusion of the titular ducks! The triplet, balances across the right-side secondary golden ratio (for added value, the balance between the single lead bird and the trailing two is naturally much closer to the lead, and that is exactly where the GR is), moving into the scene. A counterpoint within the negative space of that half of the image which manages to flip the composition completely, making the extras into the key subject and the foreground silhouette into framing.


Volleyball at Dusk

After a very long wait, here’s a rather active image from my Flickr friend Allison.

OK, let’s admire the gradient colours of the sky for a moment. It’s not like I can draw your attention away from that. Now, let’s move on to the composition that takes advantage of that ever-so-vibrant lighting…

It is really quite impressive to see that a black dot against a coloured sky – a complete absence of anything to look at – can so completely give the impression of motion and action; of tension and expectation. While the nature of silhouettes provides form without disruption, the combination of anti-detail used here ends up telling a superior story.

Mostly, this has to do with the interaction of a triplet – the players – and a triangle – between players and ball. A double dynamic using very similar elements. That the whole scene occupies only a central band of the image, bounded top and bottom by so different forms of negative space, serves only to make obvious the openness of the playing environment, lending the scene gravitas.

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.


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.


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.


After his last featuring for organic death, Florian Sprenger (mav_at) gives us the purely geometric, with a twist… of sorts.

stepsThere are no prizes for knowing that one of the primary compositional elements here is the diagonal. However, this is far more than that – that it passes from nearly-corner to corner is not enough. It is the zip-like effect of the cast shadow that converts simple geometry to active, directional interest. The way the lighting is provided is key to this – a sharp spotlight that provides a parallax shadow, diverting from the implicit line; is the wall curving away, or the stairs curving towards the viewer? The mystery enhances the sense of wonder.

This widening of the shadow, though only a hint, provides a triangular element; the shadow of the bannister turns the diverging lines of steps and shadows into a triplet. And the whole is wonderfully stark within the light-dark diptych of negative space that is the illuminated and dark wall.

A compelling climb into the abstraction of geometric form.

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