Posts Tagged ‘ Ethan ’


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


Morning Frost

On his travels through Burma, my Flickr contact Ethan (cormend) has uncovered some stunning scenery.

Morning Frost

While the processing makes this image stand out at first glance, there is far more to the scene than pink hills. From a primary compositional perspective, the beauty of this shot is in the way it draws the viewer into the scene: the frosted grass in the very foreground, separated from the rest by a gully, but paired with the post and bucket on the other side, which acts as an anchor. The hint of a path then provides a cue to follow, into the middle distance where the main subjects are to be found, a basic triangular arrangement that reaches out to the left-side secondary golden ratio (and vertically its tip finds the primary). Beyond this, the expanse of wonder is thrown open.

It is interesting that though almost a stray scratch, the one tall stalk of grass on the left, which rises above the line of the hills, is enough to provide framing for the hut on the right: evidence if ever it was needed that balance can be most effectively accomplished with the unbalanced.

The magical realm is both cold and alive; daunting yet inviting.


One of the earliest people to have an image subjected to critique here, Ethan (cormend), recently posted another that warrants analysis.


An image such as this can raise deep questions about what actually makes a solid, compelling scene. Fundamentally, this is two images: a part of a landscape of some sort, out of focus and distorted, and a foreground layer of texture, the distorting element applied to the other. Together, they create an abstract interest: variation and interest, without a need to reveal the underlying answers.

Perhaps the key to this balanced mystery is that the background scene is little more than bands of solid colour while the foreground is very much alive: it flows with diagonals and the solid presence of landing raindrops. There is also the large variance in colour and contrast within each of those streaks of water; echoes of the background in the smallest detail.

Somehow peaceful despite the intensity of the storm.

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