Photographers

Complimentary Cloud

Complimentary Cloud

The Art of Adventure - Bruce Percy

Like it was placed ‘just so’, the cloud in this shot was timed.

Sky plays just as important a role in composition as the ground does. Indeed I think we must stop thinking of the landscape as split into symbolic areas such as ‘ground’ and ‘sky’, but instead as ‘shapes’ and ‘tones’. In our minds sky should become indivisible from ground.

Bolivia-2019.jpg

The cloud is just hanging there in the ‘perfect’ space. It is a diagonally balancing object to the volcano Papillon in the lower-right side of the frame. In my mind’s-eye, I see nothing else in the picture apart from the cloud and the volcano. Two objects, both unified, not highly related to each other through placement.

This is why I think areas of the sky play just as important a role in composition as objects on the ground do. Sky is not just a space that has to always be in the frame, and nor does it have to occupy 50% of the frame as it seems to for many. Sky is just a space, like any other space in a composition and if you use it well it can aid in the power of the composition.

The placement of that cloud was critical, but so too was its shape and volume of area. Had it been much bigger than the volcano, then I think it would dominate. It seems to be proportionally equal and I find my eye is comfortably bouncing back and forth between it and the volcano.

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