When I was learning photography in High School, my instructor gave us a mental flow chart to use when trying to create a great photograph. First on her list: Find interesting colors and color combinations. Once you find color, figure out how to use it.
Vmaddalena’s photograph, Sunset, which I share with you today, is a great example of that first step the creative flow chart. What makes this sunset shot more impressive is that you won’t find colors and textures like this for another hundred nights or more. I’m happy that Vmaddalena had his camera so that he could share this beautiful site with the rest of us.
This image could be improved significantly if there was more of the ground at the bottom to anchor the shot or give more of a frame of reference. We see some trees which of course give us enough of an indication, but it’s not enough to hold the viewer’s eye in the shot. The eye is naturally drawn towards the orange color but then it gets dragged off the bottom edge. If a wider angle was not available, it would have been better to reframe the shot to sacrifice some of the blue at the top so get more darkness at the bottom.
An incredibly interesting aspect of this photograph is that it was framed as a portrait. Typically, you’d see a sunset shot in landscape. The departure from the norm is refreshing and it creates a whole new dynamic for this type of shot. The focus is therefore less about the sunset, but more about the gradient of warm to cold colors. I don’t think this photograph would be nearly as successful if it were framed in landscape.
Vmaddalena inspired me greatly with this shot. Since discovering this shot, I have made a point to follow his work regularly. I have not been deprived of inspiration.
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