Working a Composition

I'm finishing up editing and processing the images from the third part of the trip to South America.

While doing this, I ran across these images, taken in succession.

Here is an example where I feel digital photography can be instructive. You can play with compositions in the field and have an immediate review. The iterative process is ramped up a notch, and often you can come away with an image that has had some real thought go into it.

I'll use the captions to explain my thought process for this one.  My final image, the third in the series, is my favorite.

Let me know, which image do you like the best?

First Try: So, I started off using the rule of thirds and layering. By this I mean the rock in the foreground on the left is one layer, the field and ridge line combine to make the second layer, the and mountains are in the background. But something wasn't right. Nothing really felt like it was the subject of the image. The sky didn't add anything and the eye had a hard time finding an easy place to rest.

Second Try: I noticed that the rock fit nicely in a notch int he mountains and realized that this could be the the subject. The erratic, a product of glaciers moving rocks from the mountains behind, began to tell a story. Still, the image didn't seem strong. The rock seemed to exist in that zone that's slightly between "here" and "there."

Third Try: Winner! I used one of my standard practices of getting closer to the ground and moving closer to the foreground object. All of a sudden the rock "popped." In a way, the image is almost a twist of reality, making the erratic boulder appear larger, and even a little bit foreboding in relation to the mountains. Finally, I was able to use the sky effectively, by using the angle and location of the cloud to "cap" the rock. The angle of the cloud also mirrors the angle of the closer ridge line.


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