Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Learn composition by example: Subtlety

If you have been following this blog, you may remember a series of short posts about basic composition techniques in the Art-iculations category. These were written for beginners by a beginner (moi). My Flickr friend Rick (word artist), a very accomplished photographer with a brilliant sense of composition, has embarked upon a similar series for the Flickr group Learn Composition by Example, providing far more information and examples than I did. Previous posts on this subject can be found here:
Leading lines
Layers
Borders
Framing
Triangles
Anchoring
Negative space
The S-curve
Silhouettes
The diagonal
Recently, he posted his thoughts on subtlety as a composition technique, with 19 photographs as illustration of his points (also to be found in his blog), ranging as usual from the most basic to the advanced very subtle and thought provoking uses. For this topic I have picked a shot by my Flickr friend Dalinean (Sunset), which Rick picked as an example of subtlety in the form of a hidden subject. He commented on it as follows: "One cannot avoid but being captivated by the spread of banded texture in the sunlit sky here. And in itself, it would make for a beautiful image. But it is the direction those streaks lead us that holds the true gem: two silhouetted trees in the corner, anchoring the image: the true stars." Like the others in this series, highly recommended to expand your compositional horizon.

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