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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Nine: Composition -- putting it together > Navy Beach, Mono Lake, California, 2006
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Navy Beach, Mono Lake, California, 2006

Navy Beach, Mono Lake, California, 2006

Mono Lake’s Navy Beach is dominated by fields of sage that take on a backlit glow late in the afternoon. I cover almost the entire frame with this sage, almost filling the image with its glowing flowers. I bring my top edge down to almost touch the distant mountains, creating tension between those peaks and that edge. By pushing down on the mountains, I force the viewer’s eye deep into the image. Unless there is spectacular color or striking clouds in the sky, I rarely, if ever, use much of it in my compositions. An empty sky pulls the eye up and away from the content below it. This is an empty sky, and so we see very little of it.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50
1/1000s f/9.0 at 13.4mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
Phil Douglis12-Apr-2013 00:19
Thank you for noticing the contrasting bands of light as they carry the eye through the image, Bob. It is, as you note, still another valuable composition tool.
Phil Douglis10-Jan-2007 20:16
Thanks, Jenene, commeting on this image. It is one of my favorites. And glad you sense the tension I create by bringing the top edge of the frame so close to the mountains. You are right - there is a strong series of contrasta between the vertical sage and the horizontal hills and vertical mountains.
JSWaters10-Jan-2007 19:35
The 'tension' you create here by pushing down on the mountains gives this field of sage a feel you might find in a huge crowd of onlookers at some event, all raising their heads and standing on tiptoe to catch a glimpse of the show. I enjoy the contrast between the vertical nature of the sage and the horizontal direction of the gently rolling hills behind. And then, of course, you take us vertical again with the peaks in the background.
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