Posts Tagged ‘ Canada ’

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.

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Sunset over Minden Riverwalk Park

Next up for an analysis is a Canadian winter sunset by (first-time featured) contact Pavel Muller.

Sunset over Minden Riverwalk Park, by Pavel M

This image has many of the classic aesthetic qualities of a good sunset going for it, but it is the well-balanced composition that holds it together. The combination of soft light and silhouette is powerful in any situation, but this scene does lack the tones-of-red colouration of the sky that attracts many.

Instead, it is the way the light falls on the river’s surface, picking out the soft mist that floats above it that creates the magic here. That bright fire on the water provides the stunning contrast with the silhouetted trees: ingredients for drama. This lighting provides a powerful leading line that also acts as an anchor in the lower right corner, balancing the anchoring line into the left corner (as formed by the edge of the bank’s shadow on the river): together, a dominant curve that demands we follow it, with a soft – sensual – path across the smooth water in between.

All of this draws us to the intersection of the double golden ratios in the lower-left: the intersection of the horizon line and the horizontal position of the afternoon sun. And the sun itself sits at the heard of another dominant feature: a triangle of trees. All these elements between them create depth that brings the scene alive.

A perfect calm.

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