Pop Quiz! What’s working well in the photo and what’s not?
1. What’s working well? Look at the photo and try to identify what makes this a good photo. After looking for minute, look below for some possible answers.
2. What’s not working? After looking at the photo for a minute, scroll down and let’s discuss.
It follows the rule of thirds. The twin horizons of the bottom and top of the mountain are on the thirds. By dividing a photograph into nine equally sized parts and placing compositional elements on the intersections of these nine parts, a photographer can create tension and energy and, thus, more interest in the photograph.
The horizon is straight. If your horizon is not straight, it makes it look as though you are trying to disorient your viewer. Or, it looks as though you might have been drinking the hard stuff before you went out to shoot your photos. By the way, if you can’t shoot a straight for your life, every photo processing program has a “straighten” function, or a way to straighten out your photos while cropping.
The contrast is nice. The brightness of the sky, leading to the whiteness of the snow, leading to the darkness of the base of the mountain, leading to the green-ness of the grass all leads the viewer’s eye through the photo. I think that’s working well.
There is no focal point intersecting on the “thirds”. That is to say, there is nothing of particular interest in the photo besides the mountain and the snow, but there’s no object nor element that draws the eye of the viewer. The only place that naturally draws your eye is the “V” in the mountain, which is situated in the middle of the photograph, precisely where a good photo should not lead your viewer.
The colours, though deep, are not bright enough. Although the contrast from green at the bottom to blue at the top is working, the foreground loses detail in the darkness of it. Also, the contrast could be a little stronger between the blue sky and the white clouds and snow.
So, that’s my opinion. What’s yours?