by Neal Jorgensen
I had read about reflections and framing. I saw these two trees close together so I lined up the shot.
Then at the computer I darkened it a little to bring out the blues.
It’s good to see that Neal has not only read up a little on composition, but also had a go at trying out a few things for himself – well done!
Framing is one of those photography techniques where the photographer uses something of the surrounding area to set the main focal point of the picture.
It could be a window frame with a view beyond, maybe a ship’s rusty porthole with a deep blue sea in the background.
In Neal’s photo here he has used the trees as a frame. But I’m not sure it works in this case.
I think the tree on the left adds a little foreground interest, and the limb coming away from it makes it interesting. The tree on the left, however, looks like a black stripe running up the left side.
This photo would have worked better if the left tree wasn’t there.
But there is another compositional element here that I would also change – the reflection.
I like the reflection. I like it a lot, but when my eyes drift to the bottom of the reflection I see the top of the mountain has been cut off. A real shame!
A good tip is to really look around your image for small details that might be in the way. It could be as obvious as a drainpipe extending from your friend’s head, or as subtle as a missing mountain top!
I would have tried a couple of things here – either move closer to the water (which might not be the best shot as the tree on the left would be lost, together with some of the shoreline).
Alternatively, raise the camera above your head, tilting slightly downwards, paparazzi style.
Leaving the composition aside, I feel I have to comment on Neal’s post-processing.
Many photographers still argue that making changes to a photo using software is cheating in some way. Rubbish! Photographers have been manipulating pictures for years in the darkroom.
The only difference between using the darkroom as opposed to a computer is that it’s easier to do, and you don’t have to lock yourself away for hours on end!
So, good for you Neal in using software to enhance your picture. Rather than just darkening the photo though, I would have started by boosting the contrast. This would have improved the colours, but without darkening the image.
All in all, a pretty good shot. Thanks Neal for your contribution.
Want more tips? Get our recommended eBook.
Read a hands on review here
Return to Digital photography tutorials - submissions, May 2008.