I need to post this image especially for my friend Gary Kuiken. We had been talking about what sort of elements make a good image, more specifically if any were essential. A certain blog came up in our conversation that shows image after image that are essentially the same. An early morning sun, usually off-center, a ditch with grasses and a fence. Apparently the photographer thinks that these are essential elements as virtually every image on the blog has the same basic elements in it. I literally laughed out loud when I realized what I had done here!
I think a bit different and have no set list of requirements I feel are necessary to make an image successful. I rely more on balance vs. unbalance, texture vs. smooth, wavy vs.straight, dark vs. light, empty vs. full, follow the rule of thirds vs. nothing lining up with this rule, elements that touch vs. elements comfortably separated. Are you getting the idea? A couple more, complementary colours vs. analogous colours, patterns vs. abstraction, simple vs. complex, loud palette vs. soft palette. Now obviously not every image is going to have one of these contrasts. It may just have a subtle suggestion of one, and many times it might have a mix of a few different ones. Maybe a loud patterned palette with some element landing smack dab on the rule of thirds line vs. an empty soft palette of abstracted separation. This list could go on and on! Many of these differences and contrasts go through my head all at the same time, and quite honestly I don’t realize how I managed an images’ composition until later when viewing it on my computer. I can get into the “zone” when I’m out sometimes where instinct takes over and I just keep busy working out my next image with very little thought. Maybe it’s not so good, but it’s the way I operate. A lot of the time, if I overthink an image, and it’s creation, it tends to look contrived or predictable. Following a pattern or style all the time becomes boring. Some people claim they can see my “style”. I honestly haven’t got a clue as to what it could be!!
I will let the elements fall where they may, either being “essential” or otherwise. I just can’t imagine what sort of element could be considered as essential.
[top – Olympus E-M5, Panasonic 45-175mm, bottom – Sigma DP2 Merrill]