Bringing a Sense of Harmony to Your Photographs

Warm colored grasses and a beautiful, blue sky on the Crown Range between Queenstown and Wanaka on the South Island of New ZealandNikon D800e Camera and Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 lens @ 21mm. Exposure Details: 5 stop HDR from 1/800 to 1/50 second @ f5.6 ISO 100.

More than what You See

This photo was made on the Crown Range during a drive from Queenstown to Wanaka on the South Island of New Zealand. As you can see this is a photograph of a mountain scene leading the eye up towards sky and clouds. But what ties these elements together and makes for a harmonious image? On one level it's the color contrast between the warm grasses and the cool blue sky. 

Digging Deeper

But images rely as much on similarities as they do upon contrast. The texture of the grasses is suggested or referred to in the clouds above.

Taking our reading of the image a step further might lead one towards exploring the more spiritual or mythic elements within the image. I refer here to the contrast between the earth bound elements, associated with land and rock, compared to the more intangible, metaphorical aspects associated with sky and cloud.

Working with dualities (i.e. opposites) will help you produce compelling images. Just as male and female; light and dark; and warm and cool go together, it's the harmonious combination of both opposite and similar elements that make for a successful composition. 

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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru