Posts Tagged ‘ woman ’


Adding a new name to those featured here, a recently added Flickr contact, Ali Azimian gets his first outing…

While this may at first appear to simply be a gorgeous portrait shot, it is far more than that. Yes, the subject is a beautiful lady, and that fact alone helps make the image appealing. But it is the right half of the image as negative space that ensures the eye is directed at the model.

The high key processing is an interesting feature, as it largely masks the subject’s features, leaving only the subtlest outline to define her nose… it becomes a process of discovery to obtain definition. This then leaves the face defined by eyes and mouth – a sharply focused triplet without distrcation, the whole wrapped in a border of mostly softly blurred hair.

A stunning entrance; subtle yet powerful.


Washer Woman

Another shot from my Flickr contact Ethan‘s trip through Burma – it’s all in the little details…

Washer Woman

There are three parts to this image, though most people probably only notice the first – the most prominent – which grabs the viewer’s attention. That primary element is the subject: the washer woman, in stark silhouette, but distinct enough in form that there is no doubt what she is doing, or of her role in society. She is the balance that holds all else together: yin to society’s yang, which is reflected in the wrapping curvature of her body shape and the complementary form that is not silhouetted.

The placement of this balancing symbol perfectly on the intersection of lower primary and left-side secondary golden ratios is a clear element of mathematical balance. Though the image might still work otherwise, the impact would be nowhere near as evocative.

The second element is the secondary scene: the land beyond the lake, with its faint layering of trees: a cascade of softer shadow-silhouettes as one climbs above the secondary golden ratio that is the water’s edge, towards the far distance of the sky.

And lastly, the emptiness of one of the most powerful framing elements of all: negative space. The expanse of water fills at least half the image, and yet it is not there, but for the texture that gives it scale.

Undeniably powerful.


When it comes to model photography, one of the best I know is Andy Poupart (andy_57); he not only captures his subjects looking stunning, he adds strong composition.

There are several factors that make this image more than just a wonderfully image of an attractive girl. The first – the most obvious – is the lighting. While Liz is strongly lit all around, there is a sinuous line nearest the camera that is in shadow: her hair is ablaze on one side, her face glows on the other, yet there is still a mood of mystery in the shadow between. (Could this classify as a particular form of diptych?) This is a lighting technique used much in film – slightly confusing as it is rarely realistic – but one that really captures personality and presence.

That shadow line gives us the first instance of another feature that makes this image work so well: the S-curve. It is an emphasis of the same curve in Liz’ pose: strong but gentle tones of femininity.

The last major compositional element at play here is present no less than seven times: the triangle. The subtlest are the two halves of Liz’ face, in light and in shadow. The area of her hair and face is the third, and this is a subset of the one between hair and elbow. Two more are formed by her arms, with the last being the tight musculature of her abdomen: a powerful example of seductive physique.

Additional to this, we have the lighting, creating a blue aura behind Liz (on a perfect golden ratio line, as it happens), lifting her out of the plain darkness of the rest of the background.

Compellingly sensual.

With all the colour

My break over, it is time for a bit of (spelling-corrected) colour from Jessica Islam Lia (evening sun.), and a beautiful model.

With all the color

Portraiture is a wide-ranging area within photography. The head shot just one of dozens of ways of representing a person. While the most common rules say you should make contact with the subject’s eyes, this image demonstrates the limitation of that approach. Instead of using the direct connection between viewer and subject to establish the sense of “person,” this shot takes a more delicate – even subtle – approach. Well, if you can call almost fluorescent green tones subtle.

While the colour itself may not count as subtle, it is from a compositional perspective. In this case, the paired swathes – left and right, near and far – provide a containing frame for the subject. Combined with the vignette-like effect of the light fall-off on the corners means that the bright colours become soft wrappings, delicately cupping the subject’s face.

The framing alone would probably be enough to make this shot stand out. There is, however, a further detail that elevated it further still: the sense of direction down the subject’s face represented by the line from eye to nose stud… specifically in that it is echoed in the strands of hair connecting eye and mouth.

A sensually delicate shot, that uses bright colours to maximum effect.


I am a little surprised at myself with this latest post from my Flickr contact Nick Pastinica (lightwelder); it is taking a very different approach to the subject of composition, but one no less important or valid.


To date, all aspects of composition I have dealt with on this site have had to do with the positioning of elements around the area of an image. So, why not consider how they are positioned – and interact – in depth?

This photo of Doina is a perfect example of how the arrangement of elements, to interact through superposition, can compel. When first I viewed this, my immediate response was to admire the subtle and delicate depth of emotion. It brought to mind the intensity of admiration people say the Mona Lisa invokes. (I should probably point out that while I fully appreciate the technical proficiency displayed in rendering that famed portrait, I have never understood why people think her expression so enigmatic.)

That the three dominant lines of water cut through an eye, along the nose, and finish by framing the other half of the subject’s face allows us to give attention where it belongs: to the mystery of identity. Indeed, it is important in this case that it is the water rather than the face in focus, for it softens Doina’s expression, while providing intense slivers of (distorted) focus through aquatic refraction. That those lines are part of a more complex – haphazard – pattern gives the intense allure an entirely natural feel.

Now, there are aspects of this image I think could have been slightly stronger – specifically the horizontal crop – but the mood captured through focal layering more than makes up for that.

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