Posts Tagged ‘ sunset ’

Koto dur ar koto dur

Back again, having waited far too long with this next image (and what remains in the to-post queue), with another stunningly serene image from my friend Aftab Uzzaman.

Koto dur ar koto dur

Unlike many of the images have posted here over the last year and a half, this one does not include any particularly strong golden ratios. There is no strong diagonal. The suggestion of anchoring is tenuous at best. Indeed, there is very little in this image; it is the emptiness – the near-infinite expanse of negative space, given meaning through the subtle gradient from blues to orange, and back – that makes for the key draw here. The image’s detail, mostly silhouetted, is packed into the thinnest slice of the scene. We can drift through and beyond, with nary a distracted though.

Of course, for those in need of a little more compositional integrity, there is always the tightened S-curve in the river’s flow as it disappears into the distance.


Sunset Light On Four Mile Beach

There was a recent post from Andy Poupart (andy_57) that I very nearly posted. Luckily, I passed it up, and this gem, even stronger, came along.

Besides the all too obvious stunning colours captured here, three is some marvellous additional elements of composition that play into the image. Perhaps the most obvious is the triplet of stones in the lower left corner. These achieve many things at once: they are foreground interest, anchor, and the traces where the surf has run off them provide a very clear direction/leading lines. This sense of direction is supported by the foreground interest on the other side of the image, where, thanks to a suitably low shooting position, the flow-lines created by the water in the sand are an enthralling texture (view it large to see).

And so far, we have not extended any mentionable distance into the image. Going further, some of the gems of the lighting show up: the backlit wave breaking and the glowing cliff-face that finds itself reflected in the middle distance. The image is so full of detail that nothing can count as negative space. As well as the sense of direction from the lower left corner, we have a similar diagonal running the other way across the image, formed by the combination of shoreline and cliff.

Lastly, the pairing of the cliff on one side and the break in the clouds on the other, where the setting sun makes the heavens glow, act as border elements to draw the eye into the heart of the image, through the gap in the rocks.

So perfect a location, wherein one could easily abandon a soul.

time machine.

Despite the reality of the numbers, it occasionally feels as though Jessica Islam Lia (evening sun.) gets more than her share of mentions within this blog. In truth, she is now jointly sixth-most-featured. Her shots, though, are always powerful

The main power of this shot is in the basic visual execution – time made very real: the setting sun, the most primeval symbol of time that we know – the inevitability of the passing of one day – providing a backdrop to a very simple timepiece: the hourglass. The colours obviously play into the emphasis here: the swath of red-and-orange, the sky aflame, the day being burnt away; soon to be gone. But it is also the composition that works to the image’s advantage: the clarity of the sky through the glass, textured in silhouette by the residual grains in the upper bulb, drawing the eye.

Then there are the triangles that come into play: the double-triangle of the hourglass’s neck, a focal point (which happens to sit vertically right on a golden ratio, and horizontally perfectly between primary and double); and also the one formed by the two subjects: the hourglass as base and the sun as pinnacle. On the subject of golden ratios, the sun sits perfectly on an intersection of these: the horizontal double and the vertical secondary.

Emphatic in its totality, and yet serenely peaceful.

Silver Surf

There is something about Four Mile Beach that leads Andy Poupart (andy_57) to endless stunning compositions.

One could easily wonder, if taking only a mathematical eye to this composition, why it works so well. The answer is quite obvious when one does not look for golden ratios: it is in the diagonal, which then bends to take the viewer deeper into the distance before breaking apart in the surf to turn rightwards again – a subtle S-curve. It is also the ark of cloud acting as a corner-borders while also, in its streaked leading edge, conveying a sense of motion that emphasises the draw of the first-mentioned curve.

If we then augment that with a dreamy texture in the immediate foreground and Chiaroscuro contrast in the near water/sand/rocks, the power is undeniable. But to temper it with the pastels of a sunset – to balance calligraphic harshness with the soft brush of evening light – truly releases the magic of the moment.

It is a perfect moment, artistically preserved.

Amra jara dekhiyachhi

And returning now, jsut as I thought I was running out of images to post, the ever-dependable Aftab Uzzaman (aftab.).

Amra jara dekhiyachhi

As with so many of Aftab’s images, this has both powerful composition and a colour palette that makes it enrapturing; shooting into a setting sun, in autumn, with a wide angle lens, is bound to create a dramatic scene. There are so many elements at play here that it is hard to decide which to start with. I suppose working from outside to in, picking out the more subtle compositional mechanics is as good a place to start as any.

With that, we have borders – delicate and barely noticeable, but nonetheless there, providing an edge where the eye can stop. One might ask whether they are needed; I think that the unorthodox placement of the image’s focal draw calls for them. One could consider the swathe of tree in the top left corner to be framing, but I would say that is more a bit of background; an element that happened to be there, but not itself the compositional core. The framing, as it happens, is provided by one half of the foreground interest: the larger tree shadow, which stretches across some 60% of the width. The split shadow, pointing in – triangular – is the dominant directional element.

I mentioned that there are two elements of foreground interest: the second is the scattering of leaves, which provide colour within the darkness of asphalt. From here we move forward, along the shadows’ leading lines (they have many compositional behaviours, it is true), to the subject of the image, the wide expanse of Earth’s curvature, from the fields of a life-sustaining farm to the reminder of each’s mortality: the graveyard. (And there you were thinking the subject was the sun, and the trees.)

Now, at last, we come to the sun, placed perfectly between the primary and secondary golden ratio lines, casting the three dominant trees into sharp silhouette, haloed in a fire of glowing red foliage. And the reason the trees are themselves so well balanced? It should be obvious that their placement – the gaps between them – mark out another perfect golden ratio.

A masterwork of photographic philosophy.

Napili Bay Surf

Next up, a dreamy sunset scene from the regularly featured Keith Rajala (maclobster)

Napili Bay Surf

It is difficult to miss the dominant compositional theme of this image: the diagonal that leads from the bottom right into the beautiful colours of the top left. The scene is almost a diptych, divided along that axis, with the soft brown of sand on one side and the turbulent blue/white of windswept waves on the other.

This is by no means the only element worthy of mention. There is also the detailed texture within the sand – a woven pattern that catches the late sunlight to provide anchoring foreground interest. And let us not forget the fabulous palette of the sky, fired red on one side while the other is a soft blue. Too, we have a wonderfully subtle fan of spray breaking over the nearest rocks – I suspect seen even larger, this would be sufficiently detailed to steal the viewer’s attention.

Perfectly peaceful.

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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