Tweaking a composition

Standard

1-5-14 bass harbor3

I hope you’re not getting tired of this place? This particular location – at least when perched out on the ice-covered rocks like I was – doesn’t leave a lot of room for maneuvering and making adjustments to a composition. Depending on the tidal conditions, there are only a couple of tight ledges/rocks that can be used to park one’s self and gear. I always enjoy making decisions about which elements to include within the frame and how they should be arranged in relation to each other – in doing so I’m always trying to tell a story, convey what it felt like to be there, display the beauty on show – for me, that’s all part of the fun of landscape photography.

1-5-14 bass harbor6

When confined to this specific location, if interested in including the lighthouse, the rocks, and maybe a breaking wave, then a wide angle lens is a must. Changing focal lengths will give you the ability to make a few compositional adjustments, but this particular scene is definitely one where creative choices are somewhat limited. I’m a sucker for using a wide-angle lens to accentuate the foreground of any scene, and in this particular location, there is no shortage of interesting elements to include. The lines in the rocks can be used to help steer the viewer’s eyes toward the lighthouse, and on this chilly winter day, I wanted to try and include some of the ice-encrusted foreground.

1-5-14 bass harbor5

Once I settle on a broad concept of what I’d like to include, I’ll make some subtle changes within the frame, all the while trying to improve the quality of the composition. Options include raising or lowering the tripod to change the perspective, moving it from side to side, tipping the camera forward or backward, and perhaps making adjustments to the focal length. I typically end up with maybe a half dozen slight variations on a composition, though it’s usually not until I get back home and fire up the computer that I can contrast and compare what I made. This brief visit to Bass Harbor was fairly productive, and it felt good to be breathing in the winter air and making photographs again. I’ll share my favorite image from this trip in the next post.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Tweaking a composition

  1. I prefer the last one. I find the snow or ice patch in the second one a bit distracting. And these days I like a lot portrait orientation… Cool place and pictures! 🙂

    • David Patterson

      Thanks for the feedback. I tried hard to include as much of the snow and ice as I could – since that was a big part of my visit – but I totally understand your comment about it being distracting in the second image.

  2. Johann Briffa

    It’s a good idea to shoot variations. I need to learn to do that more. By the way, I think I prefer the last image too, but only because the lighthouse is subtly more visible compared with the second image.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Johann… there’s a balance to be stuck here with getting too close to the lighthouse and bringing some wide-angle distortion into play, versus being a little further back. Thanks for stopping by.

I'd love to hear from you...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s