Which of the two photos above do you like better? Why?
Both photos are very similar, but one was shot at sunrise and one was shot at sunset, so different parts of the red rock were lit up by the sun.
There’s no right or wrong answer here. The reason I’m asking the question is to get you thinking about composition, and specifically help you think about your own unique perspective of the world.
Personally, I like the first shot (on the left) better. I like the shaded part at the bottom of the frame because I think it anchors the image better. Since our eyes are drawn to brighter spots first, I feel like it makes more sense to put the dark stuff at the bottom of a landscape image. That way, your eyes naturally lead towards the back of the photograph where you have a dramatic lit-up subject (such as a mountain peak at sunrise).
I’m also a big fan of contrast, and I feel like the first image has a better arrangement of color. I think the blue sky next to the glowing red rock creates a much stronger contrast than the arrangement in the second photo (with the blue sky against the shaded rock). Again, there’s no right or wrong answer here, these are just some thoughts that go through my head when looking at and composing these types of images.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree?
Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. I think it’d be great to get a discussion going about composition. There’s a lot we can all learn from each other 🙂
Would you like to see more comparisons like this?
This is a new style of post I’m trying out, so I’d love to hear your feedback. Was this kind of discussion / thought-exercise helpful? Would you like to see more side-by-side photo comparisons like this? If so, please let us know by leaving a comment below. Thanks!
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About the Author: Steve Berardi is a naturalist, photographer, software engineer, and founder of PhotoNaturalist. You can usually find him hiking in the beautiful mountains and deserts of southern California.