Like much of France, it’s been cold and we’ve had some snow recently. As a result, these old cartwheels (and birdbath) that sit at the back of our house were looking pretty chilled last week – and not in a good way.
As it happens we woke up this morning to our first significant frost of the year – a sure sign that winter is on its way. It had all thawed before I could get my camera out, but here’s a winter scene that I photographed a couple of years ago during a walk ‘around the block’ (about three miles). The low sun on the barren tree in the foreground made the whole image stand out for me.
This week, we try to demonstrate the importance of vertical lines in composition. To begin with, here’s my personal favourite from the selection for this post:
An abacus in the old schoolroom at Montrol-Senard. It wouldn’t be the same shot if the column second from the right wasn’t slightly askew.
A collection of other verticals:
A ruined Roman temple in Jerash, Jordan. Nice of the security guards to provide scale (and be vertical themselves.
Madame’s idea of heaven: bolts of fabric on display in a quilting supply shop in Dubai.
Detail from one of the minarets at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
These trees are growing out of a ditch just long the road from here.
Now, two photographs of the same scene, one in landscape, the other in portrait. Unsurprisingly, the vertical represented by the tyre-tracks is a much stronger element in the portrait version; this makes sense because it’s the tyre-track that’s the real subject, and the trees in the landscape version are just a distraction:
Now, for the vertical line that doesn’t really work in the original, here is a ‘before and after’ from Chartres Cathedral. The vertical is obviously where the door meets the wall, but in the original the thing (whatever it is) halfway down the left side of the image is a distraction and, more importantly, because it’s an open doorway shot from the inside, the exterior has been blown out.
However, cropped to remove the distraction, as well as some of the dead space at the top (which also helps to preserve the original image constraints), and with a bit of tweaking of the tone curve, I think it’s a far superior image: