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Learn How To Use Your Digital Camera

Add Contrasting Elements to your Images

My husband and I went hiking in Oklahoma over the weekend and brought along the point and shoot. I was tired of lugging around gear, so we put this handy little camera in our backpack and ended up with some great images.  My husband shot many of them and he was actually pleased. He is not a photographer and is often disappointed with his results. Not this time–thanks to the great little Panasonic! All were shot on the easy auto mode…

This image captures the sensory experience of a cold wind, stirring up a summer prairie.

Normally, I would avoid a predictable bulls-eye composition taken at shoulder level above a fixed object—but in this case, the composition is anything but static and conventional.

Why is this particular image so successful? Glorious movement! By placing the unmoving rock in the center of the viewfinder, nature’s force stirring among the flowers is magnified, as the rock anchors a whirlwind of movement and color.

angilee wilkerson summer photo tip rock field flowers contrasting movement color
© 2007 Angilee Wilkerson, Dallas DPA Instructor

The ambiguity inherent in an image lacking clarity and sharpness provides the viewer an experience of mystery and even a surreal intrigue. In most cases, a blurry image, lacking sharpness to serve as a resting point for the viewer’s eye, will often leave the viewer uninterested, due to an absence of visual entry into the image. This photograph’s static rock is the key to its success.

This image also shows a keen eye for color: the rich greens and yellows of the moving flora are contrasted nicely against the flatness of the brown rock.  Instead of competing with each other—the flatness of the stone brings emphasis to the richness of the prairies color.

We went back to the prairie the next day to find the cool wind gone: replaced with a humid heat and the  hum of honeybees collecting pollen.


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