Thoughts on Composition?

Discussion in 'Seeking Critique' started by WJT, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Trying out a new camera setup.

  2. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    On first look the Dark Negative Space top left, is a bit too heavy to be perfectly balanced on the base.

    I wouldn't crop any tighter from the left, because you'll clip that LH flower's petals.

    However if it were possible to move to Camera Left a few inches then the Framing would have less of that (what I think is too much) Dark Negative Space in the shot

    I think you need about the same width of Dark Negative Space as you have in height of the Out of Focus Space of the sun-dappled pathway - that would make for a better lead in for the Viewer's Eye from Top Left: as it is at the moment I feel the Viewer's Eye gets stuck in the Black, or if not returns to the Black way too quickly.

    invisibleflash and ruslan like this.
  3. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Thanks! Yes, one more foot to the left would have done it.
  4. Different people have different styles of photographing flowers and I totally respect your approach. To me your composition seems to contain two pictures, one of the two flowers at the top, the other towards the bottom, with a gap in between. I find the composition is over complicated and the background, with its patchy bright areas, too distracting away from the main subjects. There are a lot of basically the same flower in the scene, I would have looked for an attractive arrangement of a smaller number of flowers, nicely lit and with a reasonably plain background, thrown out of focus if possible while still portraying he context of the scene.
  5. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    I could see where the group on the bottom could probably stand alone. The upper group, on the other hand, would not work well by itself. There is nothing worse than a composition of just two. Maybe having something in the middle other than the sun's rays could tie it together. Thanks for the input.
  6. I think it's not necessary, though may be a choice, to see flowers and their surroundings as photographic subjects with more vague backgrounds. It may be that one might want the full environment, or at least the suggestion of such, to be the photo. In that case, one may bring UP the background rather than try to avoid it through blur or lighting. I actually see potential in the background here and like the idea of introducing negative space. Your approach does not follow the more tried and true and very expected look of flower photos. I don't think you quite got it here, but rather than move this toward a more traditional "good-looking" and "pleasing" flower photo, I like the fact that you seemed naturally inclined to do something different. I like compositions that challenge me. Background elements can be distractions, of course, but they can also provide texture and counterpoint and in some cases can be strong accompaniments to the main theme, even threatening to swallow it in more extreme cases where that might make sense. There are a lot of dynamics in nature, all of which can be captured in a variety of creative ways, especially with the willingness you show to look through the lens a little differently.

    I like the warmth of the lightest areas in the background and I think that lone branch or whatever is catching the light in the upper left dark area works nicely. The dark area's squarish shape and placement is, to me, a problem. A more rounded or triangular shape not at the edge or corner of the frame might have worked nicely. Such negative space, punctuated by a lone, softly lit element can be a place where one's imagination is drawn somewhat beyond the more concrete subject that may be the focus of the photo. How organic that seems will be determined by placement, shape, and its relationship to the rest of the frame.
  7. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Sam, thanks for the feedback!
  8. The composition, with its empty space on the top left, middle and low left could be seen as a setup for a magazine cover. I have taken this composition approach before when requested for such a use. Visualize magazine title upper left, article titles mid-left, further issue info along the lower area of the image.
    Again - I'm thinking requested layout/composition for a publication as opposed to a free-standing artistic composition. (I'm not a commercial photographer, by the way. I've just had assignments as such in the past.)
    WJT likes this.
  9. Like flower still-lifes in painting, there's a lot of leeway in 'composition' of the entire image, perhaps partly because of the innate symmetry and balance of the flowers themselves.
    That being said, there's a kind of tension since your image has two different 'centers' of attention, usually considered "not-so-good".
  10. I think the highlights in the background are a little distracting. I too see two pictures, but it's not that bad, I've done worse. The shriveled petals on the top flower is a bit of a turn-off though, and the brightly lit leaves at the very top of the image take my eyes up instead of keeping them down on the flowers

    The second picture I see within the picture, which I gave the going over in PS
    Picture within picture 1b.jpg
  11. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Thanks for the commnents! Regards.

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