Archive for the ‘ Repetition ’ Category


It’s time now for a little more black and white sand from Florian Sprenger.


From a compositional perspective, this image is very simple. Simplicity, however, does not mean it is any less impactful.

The dominant feature is quite obviously the S-curve, that is the entire subject of the shot. The eye cannot help but be drawn in along its line, from the slightly out of focus foreground that anchors in the lower left corner, up-across, back and around, passing from one curve to the next and to the third – the differentiation between them only real in the visual sense, not the compositional.

The stark contrast also plays into the scene, and the impact of the curves – the success of the S as an abstracted subject – is a direct result of the tight crop.

A ride one cannot get off without looking away.


Cascade Ponds

Next up, a powerfully alive landscape shot from Canadian Wendy Erlendson

One might think it easy to shoot a strongly composed landscape. That perception is nothing if not deluded. While a landscape may not be in motion, while it may simply be a case of getting into the right position, landscapes have many parts that all need to line up just right. It takes time to get from where you are to where you need to be; if even you know how the scene will evolve as you reposition yourself. And in the time it takes to get the static elements into place, the clouds and light can change enough that the shot no longer works.

In order to pull together a scene that makes people feel that they want to step into it, one needs to use a range of compositional elements. Clearly, having majestic elements helps, but in itself it is not enough.

Here, Wendy has started with the majesty of the mountain, the summit positioned on a golden ratio, and played on the reflection in the rippled waters. The duplicate ridge line runs parallel to the foreground shore, even going so far as to echo its unevenness. That foreground interest element, even though no more than a patch of grass, provides a further anchoring element as it nestles so tightly into the lower left corner. And finally, running back along the shoreline, we arc around the end of the water, and reach an actual as well as metaphorical bridge between fore- and middle-grounds. We arrive in a refined scene of pleasant calm – a small filed edged with trees – amidst all this majesty.

The additional processing here to emphasise the texture of the clouds does not so much enhance the composition as reinforce the original majesty of the setting.

Powerfully peaceful.

Inside Dandelions

It’s another outing for my friend Lorraine Anderson, with a look at the detail – and beauty – within.

Inside Dandelions

There are some things around us we take for granted. We see them as they appear at the scale with which we interact with them, but forget to step back to embrace the bigger picture, or have not the patience to peer into the heart of their structure. Here, Lorraine has done the latter, exploring the subtlest detail within a dandelion flower. She has taken dew dops and expanded them to the side of marbles, or crystal balls.

The immediate compositional strength of this image comes, quite obviously, from the shallow depth of field that is a hallmark of macro imagery. Also, there is the clear diagonal – corner to corner – marked out by the dandelion feathers. If that were all, it would be merely a nice shot. There are, however, more elements that come into play here: the leading lines of the stalks, beaded with droplets of morning freshness, that anchor the diagonal to the left side of the image; the repetition of a mysterious image captured within the dozens of crystal balls; the delicate nature of this so often dismissed natural beauty.

Stunning. Soothing.

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.



It has been a while since I have featured anything from David Gumbrell (Auribins), but this definitely deserves the attention.


Whereas it is easy to make an organic scene look comfortable, something like this that is nought but harsh geometry is a much harder subject to turn pleasing. Here, it has been done masterfully. Of immediate interest is the use of silhouette as the dominant compositional theme, along with the repetition of form and structure: horizontals and verticals dominate, their spacings in each instance consistent (creating, as at the top, patterns of divergence where perspective comes into play, the lines gradually stepping further apart the higher one goes.

But it does not stop there. Despite the dominant grid pattern, this image clearly contains a a double S-curve: each half, vertically, is sinuous. Add to this the horizontal spacing: the inner edges of the side stairs sit perfectly upon golden ratios within the image. Also, despite the activity of the stairs, the patterns there, it is cross hair – the element which gives the shot its title – that is the subject. Everything else is negative space.

A clean kill.

%d bloggers like this: