- Colour – Harmonious (or ‘analagous’) colours are ones with similar shades and tones.
- Discordant – these colour combinations shouldn’t work, but they often do. Colours that jar, or seem to be haphazard, can make a striking photo
- Abstract -Abstract photography doesn’t try to replicate reality, but suggest something using colour, shape, texture and other composition techniques.
- Repetition –The most appealing design technique out there
- Break the rules – Now you know what the rules are, you can break them.
So last night I headed off to the beach with these composition challenges in mind and worked with the late evening light.
Above – my location, as I looked out to the Needles of the Isle of Wight, I decided that this shop with the pale sky, green headland, white cliffs and sea was full of Harmonious neutral tones and would be a great place to start as it sets the scene for my location.
This area of beach was damaged in the storms in February 2014, and they have recently put a new barricade in place. This shows of the power of red, leading lines as well as being a repetitive pattern, it would have been a stronger short if there was a person or something of interest at the steps towards the end.
As the waves crashed onto the shore they made all sorts of abstract patterns which varied with the changing light, changing waves movements and shutter speed. These shots work in both monochrome and in colour as the tones are very subtle.
The beach is naturally a place you associate with blue and yellow, I was pleased to be able to find an abstract of these harmonious colours on one of the beach huts – the wall was blue and the door yellow. It also works as it shows off the texture of the material – weathered by the sea, and the paneling of the wood is in two distinctive patterns.
Another beach hut, this time the colours are discordant – they don’t really balance at all in the picture, the tight crop gives an abstract feel and without me telling you in is a beach hut you are left wondering what you are being asked to look at. The purples, greens and orange sunlight are at odd’s with each other and clash.
As the sun began to set it coloured things with a distant orange feel and with the water in shadow – I snapped this image, again an abstract with discordant colours … however I think in this case the birds are too close to the top of the frame and cause a distraction.
Now it is time to break the rules – I shot into the sun with the horizon in the center of the picture. There is no real focal point, and the breakers cut completely across the picture. I like the tones of the image, but I don’t think it is a very strong composition.
Another go at breaking the rules – my watermark is distracting (but automatically placed – sorry) the horizon is too low, but I have included lots of rules too – there lots of space in the composition, there is detail and a sense of scale in the foreground and there is something of interest of the thirds!
And after all the rain we have had recently the warmth of the sky is a pleasure to enjoy!