Posts Tagged ‘ boat ’


Time to catch up with posting again, so here is a stunning piece of work from my Flickr friend Ethan, whose Burmese travels have produced a plethora of beautiful compositions.


There are three compositional techniques used within this shot, turning something serenely simple into a powerhouse of interest. Most obvious is the pairing of silhouette (the man in his boat) and layers (which is really a subtle form of silhouettes, where light is diffused in between the masking elements. The majesty of the landscape is given definition through the layers of hills that descend to the water’s edge, one so close that it is nearly as dark as the primary subject. And so the subject merges into the natural scenery; the man-made in harmony with its surroundings.

The third attribute is the golden ratios. These are not quite as obvious as one might expect, but fully appropriate to the scene: the boat between (but not quite reaching) primary and secondary horizontal, and sitting on the secondary vertical (yes, the boat, rather than the horizon). This interestingly puts two of the background peaks on the vertical primaries.

That the boat is between primary and secondary golden ration, moving out of the scene, breaks the rule that the subject should be entering the frame, but it also adds a sense of story; that this is a timeless life, repeated father to son for countless generations.

Wonderfully peaceful


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.

In the Boat

Having been rather inactive of late, my good absentee friend Lorraine Anderson has finally posted a set of pictures from the last months, including this gem.

In the Boat

Many people may look at this, and wonder where the compositional excellence is. But I dare anyone to look at it and not feel the fresh air; the sense of liberty and looming threat. Therein, the composition.

The elements used are multiple. Firstly, there is processing to emphasise the Chiaroscuro contrast, and the wet texture in the seats; that provides the initial element of mood. The boat’s floorboards then provide the leading lines to ensure that the eye skips back and forward between the two bench seats, anchored on different sides. But those floorboards are dark enough that they manage to fade into the background, largely as negative space.

There is mood here in the subtle details.

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