Decided I was spending too much time reading and not enough actually taking photographs and trying to understand my own photography. So, I went for a walk with just a few ideas about taking images of a second-hand car lot and various allotments against the lines of the Edinburgh Tramway. They were going to be images of horizontal layers without any other message. In other words, these images are all about design and have no other meaning for me. That is a weakness. Without having a specific message or emotion to convey, composition becomes more of a technical exercise.
None of these images have been processed except for occasional and limited cropping.
These first 2 images are pure “intuitive” composition having seen the container, the camera mast and the horizontal tree shadows.
Looking at them later I feel the first one has a nice balance of size / weight / lightness / darkness of the elements. However, I now think a lower viewpoint, with the container breaking into the sky and the horizon at the ½ way point would result in a stronger image.
I did NOT see this at the time but this image is only about the 6 vertical white lines either side of the horizon and getting larger from right to left. It is almost graph-like. The small white, blue and yellow goals on the far right form an end-stop.
The first 2 images here show my initial idea for layers of view using the rail tracks as a base but neither has any strong form or interest.
I think this 3rd version works a lot better. The autumnal colours of the leaves are echoed in the car lot signs resulting in a strong line of colours with the tree providing height and weight in the centre. This image is certainly closer to what I had imagined I would achieve.
Below are 2 more attempts at layers but neither works due to the complexity and jumble of the various elements. I need to simplify the composition as in the image above.
The first the “intuitive” shot below has strong curving lines in from the bottom right leading to the Castle. Poplars on right echo the pylons on the left. Brushes and hillock on right echo the curve of the tracks and power lines. The small street lamp on left is a nice end-stop.
Overall, a reasonably balanced image.
Moving a step to the left and zooming slightly in has resulted in a tighter image with some of the messy power lines now out of shot. The castle is now a stronger element.
However, for me the image now feels too constrained. It needs more space around it.
Moving the horizon up to the centre line now gives too much weight to the dark tones of the foreground tracks. It has also lost some of the curve of the power lines around the tops of the poplars.
The cyclist does add a little interest to the left side of the image.
Moving again, this time to get a clear view of the castle has spoiled the flow of the image. The curves of the hillock, poplars, power-lines and even the tracks are far less obvious.
Finally zooming further in and slightly to the right. It’s tight, the castle is a strong feature, the power line supports form interesting box and parallelogram shapes, the tracks appear sharply from the bottom right and their curves are again strongly shown.
Overall, I think my first, intuitive, composition is still the one I prefer but this is a close second.
I was attracted by the 2 flags and, again, the idea of layers.
The first composition is OK but the second, with the strong central path has more design about it. The brambles and fence at the base are now very much more obvious as they form an inverted T with the path.