One of the best design instructors is Mother Nature.
Susan says: “Here is an example of design done to perfection by a budding ginkgo branch. The strong diagonal line created by the branch lifts the eye upward and across the image. The soft, dew covered ginkgo leaves break the movement in a green to yellow gradient that pantone would be hard-pressed to duplicate. The tiny spots of orange add unexpected drama to an image that otherwise has a muted palette. Most striking is the shape of the leaves themselves – an arcing shell shape that is found only in this oldest of trees. Another design lesson found in this image is the power of the swath of white space (or muted green space) below the branch. Too often we are tempted to fill space from wall to wall. The effect of this negative space is to heighten the subtle impact of the leaves that might be lost in a busy space.
I believe that looking in the natural world for examples of color combinations and structural ideas is very helpful if you are stuck and in need of inspiration. Plus, it is a great for body and soul to get out from behind the computer and take a walk on the wild side. A presentation with great content but without good design is brought low and loses its potential to connect and inspire. Check out what is going on in your own backyard.”
Lucia says: “These ginkgo leaves are truly in my own backyard. Susan was right. You don’t have to look far to find elements of design. I was attracted to this miniature ginkgo world by the slightly frozen dew on the leaves. But it took a while before I settled on an angle that placed the leaves in a flattering setting. There were many decisions to make – how to frame it, move in close or stay back, how much negative space to allow, what to keep in focus. As I said, it took some time, yet the final design was worth it. I’m pleased that Susan’s description captured what I was going for visually. “
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