Flow in a landscape photograph

Blog - Phil-osophy on Landscape Photography > Flow in a landscape photograph
24/08/2017 - 22:26



Deconstructing the elements of why a landscape photograph has a particular appeal, can be an interesting and useful reflective practice.


In the photograph below, it is likely that attention is drawn to the vibrant afterglow light on the retreating Cumulonimbus Capillatus cloud. Then we might be drawn to the details of that cloud's anvil and maybe notice the mammatus (udder like) features underneath the anvil on its right hand side



Yet, beyond these dramatic features and radiant hues (along with their somewhat muted reflections in the estuary) there are more elements at work.




See how the breeze carrying the stormcell off along the coast has a curvaceous inflow of grey clouds in pursuit, the arc leading upwards towards the left edge of the anvil. The hull and prow of the foreground sailing vessel echoes this curve in a pleasing repetition of form - making a harmonious implied connection between foreground and the prima donna thundercloud all dressed in pink. This coincidence of shapes adds to the flow, which is in very much a Japanese style - intended to 'be read' from right to left



There are some other subtleties at work in this:



  • (from right to left)  The stepping stones effect from the foreground sailboat onwards....Red Bouy, Yellowy-orange Bouy, Red Hull of the boat midstream, Pink Anvil cloud - all these vibrant hues are within adjacent parts of the colour wheel


  • and how the blue-grey keel of the foreground sailboat echoes the hues of the sky above and left of the anvil.



Hopefully this has given you the intrigue to gaze more deeply at the photos that you have made which really please you and the works of others that you admire, to make you question why they work. Go and then look at paintings and drawings that strike you in some way and ask the same questions... it may well subconsciously inform your own creativity in making photographs about, rather than just of things






Add a Comment


Email (not displayed):