What captures your attention? Check out how the principals of design are at play in Lucia’s photo.
This is a photo that Lucia and I have discussed many times. It may look quite innocent, but we have a strong disagreement about what is important here, what this is a photograph of. I think that the wind turbines that dominate and capture my eye. Why? Because they are the only non-organic elements, they sit above everything else, and they are stark and still while the rest of the photo is restless with shapes and colors.
Interesting Thing About Design
That’s the interesting thing about design, not everything will affect a viewer in the same way, or the way intended by the designer (check out what Lucia was going for in her comments below). I am certain that if your topic was things equine, the horse would dominate the viewers attention. If your topic was wind power, etc. etc. But here without a topic in mind, it is up to the viewer to parse the content and be guided, at least a bit, by the principals of design. Here I think those principals are color, balance, emphasis and shape, It’s interesting to me how these principals come into play with this photo. Something to think about anyway.
I remember riding along watching the wind turbines slowly turning on the horizon, thinking about green energy. I thought this minimalist landscape would make a good photo, but not enough for me to actually compose one. Then I saw the horse. Now things got interesting. The horse became the focal point in a large canvas of negative space. This made me happy. I created one of my favorite landscapes, which even hangs on a wall in my house.
A Closer Look and Color
When I downloaded the photo, I saw surprised to see a lot more. Although, my original idea of a minimalist landscape is still the main objective here, the layers of colors create another dimension to the photo. Notice the three distinctive sections. The top is a black and white photo with shades of gray in the sky, accented with the dark wind turbines. The middle section is a monochrome of sepia. But if you look closely, you’ll see faint tinges of pink, yellow, and purple. In the bottom section those pastels pop out in strong splashes across the foreground. I’m often amazed at what I see after getting the shot I wanted and looking closely at it.
Nuances to Make You Think
Of course, there’s a lot to say about looking to nature to find your color palette. And this photo is a good example of that. But I think the lesson here is about taking a closer look. This is the kind of photo, with all its nuances, that can enhance your presentation and help you get your audience thinking beyond what’s right in front of them. Are gems hiding in plain sight?
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