Posts Tagged ‘ window ’


Returning after a short break (at least from being featured here), we have more from compositional star Jenny Downing.


While the concept of a still life comprising a pair of empty wine glasses is nothing new, this has to be one of the best results I have seen in the area. As can be expected from Jenny, the placement of the subjects plays on golden ratios: one glass straddling the left horizontal, while the right divider sits perfectly atwixt the glazen subjects. Vertically, the primary golden ratios provide the containment for the main body of the containers, the lower being positioned at the top of the refracted patterns which perch atop the glass’ stems.

From a subject positional perspective, there is not much else to say. The image, however, has more going for it. Predominantly, this is in the form of the Chiaroscuro tone, offset by the subtler shades to be seen within the window’s light. That, negative space, balanced against the rim-lights of plates providing foreground interest, frames the subject very well, drawing the eye in to contemplate the distortion of pattern that decorates the subjects.

Perhaps the best use one can put wine glasses to…

Small things

Once more, we have an offering from Aftab Uzzaman (aftab.)

Small things

When it comes to composition, it is the small things that matter. So it is no surprise that this appropriately titled image demonstrates excellent composition. As is so often the case with Aftab’s work, it is the simplicity of the image that really makes it work. In this case, the stark Chiaroscuro contrast, presented as a globe-like arc with windows into another reality perched atop it, draws the eye to the interface line, where all the interest is.

The image inversion does not work against it; if anything, the unreal upwards pull on the water droplets creates a sense of mystique. That the main object’s shape does not give away what it is – that it almost feels never quite in focus – leaves us with only the droplets to pay attention to.

And it is through the water that we see another reality, another world. The conceptual recursion of having windows visible through these tiny aquatic viewing areas (i.e. windows) is a touch of philosophical composition on top of the visual.

Deeply compelling.


It feels like forever since the last time my friend Elise Hibbard (elise*marie) last posted to Flickr. She returns in blazing form.

First seeing this image, I was struck with two impressions. One was that it just worked: moody and evocative. The other that it looked to be breaking every rule there is. How could these two feelings coexist?

Quite clearly, this is photo-montage. A translucent window floating in the middle of a countryside scene does not happen otherwise (short of a little fantastic writing). It is not a realm of photography I generally feel attracted to… except for Elise’s work that captures a sense of considered balance; artwork that has been carefully planned to be self-explanatory.

So why does this one stand out? There are so many things about it that should make it fail. Centring is generally agreed not to be optimal composition. The height of the window is a exact third (well, very nearly) of the entire frame rather than being based on golden ratios. There is even a harsh streak across the sky that looks almost like a crayon mark (yes, I know it’s a contrail).

I believe the answer lies in the incongruity of the scene. It is, fundamentally, magical. A portal into an alternate reality: so unnatural that it needs to break rules. That explains why it works floating dead centre.

As for the ratios, while the height is based on thirds, the width of the frame is very close (not quite exact, but close enough to work) to filling the space between the horizontal golden ratios. Hence the balance is horizontal rather than vertical, which acts as a counter to the stepping up through the rest of the image implied by the textured surfaces, all of which have such detail as to be fascinating.

One detail I find quite amazing about the whole image is that despite it being sepia, and thereby a single colour, the brightness of the window frame against the glass makes that element feel just slightly monochrome against the colour of the background. Not bad at all for a single-colour image. That harshness of contrast is matched throughout the rest of the image, but in a way that still provides a great depth of texture and detail.

So far, every element mentioned here has been about symmetry. But there is really nothing symmetrical about this shot. There is a contrast of worlds between the bottom and top halves (is the window representative of passing between them, rather than to some alternate dimension?) The gradient of motion across the sky, with trees bordering one side and the contrail anchoring the window from the outside, throw any sense of equality between the two sides. So while the whole is centred and balanced, it still manages to include dimensional dynamics.

This is also a wonderful twist on the concept of image framing; the twist, of course, is that it is framed from the inside rather than the outside. Inversion.

A beautiful example of when breaking the rules is really the right way to go.

Cameron – The Heights Closed

Given that no images came my way, I decided to go looking for the next picture to review here. It wasn’t a long search; one of the first people whose recent work I perused was Jeff Presnail. Therein, I found this:

The Heights Closed

Photographically, there are many ways one can present any particular subject. This idea is one many people would take to mean there are many ways to portray the subject itself. But it can equally be applied to the setting in which the subject resides.

Our subject here – Cameron – is breaking several basic compositional guidelines. Prime amongst these is that he is not regarding the camera; there is no eye contact whatsoever. Further, the direction of his “movement” (or, in this particular instance, the way he is looking, as movement is clearly lacking) is outwards of the frame, on the horizontal. This is compensated for by the vertical portion of the image’s direction: there, at least, he is looking across the midpoint… just.

Interestingly, even without visibility of Cameron’s eyes, where his attention is fixed is clearly marked. What is so fascinating about that hinge, I have no clue.

But it is not the classic feline post that makes this image a compositional gem. It is the setting: pristine, beautifully balanced minimalism. The camera is very well placed, directly in front of the midpoint of the window, providing straight lines and even amounts of depth on each side. The backdrop of the shutters contains a glut of interest, but manages still to remain demure: the whole providing an in-image frame.

And then the crowning jewel: Cameron’s tail breaking out of the border.

Were any one of these details otherwise, the visual impact would be lost, or at least diminished.

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