Spring greens are appearing among winter’s golds and reds, and the colors inspired me to take some scenic shots.
This park can actually be difficult to photograph. As clouds pass over the fields, hues suddenly brighten then subdue. A second or two can make a difference in whether the marsh looks well-lit or muddied.
But clouds are nevertheless welcome! The terrain here is so flat, that a solid, empty sky means an uninteresting picture. Imagine the photos in this article with a solid blue sky or, worse yet, a dull gray expanse.
Cloud patterns add character, but another important consideration are diagonals. Diagonal lines add energy and movement to the composition.
Look at the picture above. The diagonal trail on the left and the diagonal waterway on the right come to a point. They lead the eye toward the tiny human figure jogging the trail. The tiny coots in the foreground enhance this directional flow, as they swim in the direction of the point.
Here is another landscape with more diagonals. Here our eye is guided toward two tiny coots. Meanwhile, the clouds sweep slightly upward, creating additional movement.
In this view of the marsh, what do you notice as your eye is led back?
There is a gray bird where the blue water merges with the field of pennywort. And in the distance, at the tip of the arrow, is the roof of a building.
Although these tiny figures – the jogger, the coots, the rooftop, a bird – seem insignificant, they are points of focus that add interest to the photo.
Now let’s look at an additional photo. Where do you see diagonals and focal points?
Now let’s look at a different type of photo. I was attracted to the colorful reeds and their reflection in the water. But the photograph isn’t that interesting, in spite of an American Coot adding a focal point.
So let’s zoom in and see what happens – let’s change our perspective.
While I was at the park, I noticed a tour group standing on a covered section of boardwalk. I’ve taken multiple pictures of this construction, all of which I’ve discarded as “So what?” photos. But now, look how the people add interest to and document the space.
I hope that showing you what I look for as I shoot pictures and select the best shots has helped. Look for additional posts like this in the future.