One of the important compositional tools available to the photographer is considering the orientation and final aspect ratio of the image. One option is the classic square format. The following images are all square compositions cropped from the 2:3 aspect ration of 35mm digital captures, and each of them illustrates the strength of a square composition. The next time you are out photographing and searching for an image try thinking square!
I know I have not been posting much lately but I hope to remedy that in the coming weeks. With lots of activity and work at CC, attending the GSA meeting in Denver, and installing and getting to know my new Epson Stylus Pro 7900 printer I have not been able to get out much in the last month to do much shooting. This afternoon I decided I needed some fresh air and field time so I headed down to the Chico Basin Ranch, one of my favorite local prairie hot-spots, to see if I could catch some autumn grass and perhaps some last bits of color in the cottonwood trees along Chico Creek. When I arrived in mid afternoon, conditions were less than ideal with not a cloud in the sky and very harsh bright light and I was resigned to not making any new images. Not to worry, it was just nice to get out and hike a bit in the warm afternoon sun.. A couple hours later as I was driving along one of the rough ranch roads looking for potential future compositions I passed by a row of cottonwood trees that had already lost all of their leaves. Looking almost due west toward the sun, they were strongly back-lit and silhouetted, and I was immediately struck by the strong graphic lines of the bare branches and the way they formed a striking pattern together. The light was unworkable at the moment, but I envisioned an image with the orange glow of the setting sun on the horizon providing color to the bare silhouetted trees. The clear sky suggested that at sunset that glow might just happen. And so I waited. Here is the result:
The thought process that went into making this image centers on observation of the environment with the recognition and extraction of a composition coupled with the anticipation of some vibrant light. So if you find yourself in a similar situation it pays to wait. Sometimes it works.!
Extracting good compositions from the chaos of nature takes time and practice . “Seeing” is the goal of all photographers and on that note I need to give a strong recommendation to my good friend and fellow photographer Guy Tal’s new e-book on Creative Landscape Photography. Not only is Guy an amazing photographer, but he is also a gifted writer, and in Creative Landscape Photography he has created a true gem that will get you focused and thinking about the thought processes and techniques for making great nature photographs. Check it out!