Thursday, March 3, 2016

Death Valley - Yellow Ribbons

Yellow Ribbons in Death Valley

Part of improving nature and landscape photography skills is to take in all the elements of a scene that the eye sees, make sense of it all and then visualize a pleasing and interesting composition.  This means narrowing down and eliminating some of those elements and emphasizing other elements, and deciding on foreground to background elements.  Then comes deciding the f stop, shutter speed, angle, perspective or point of view, etc.  You may do this numerous times with different results.  The critical part of deciding whether you have an interesting and pleasing image that is a 'keeper' comes when you critique your images on the computer.  This is where you have to honestly determine the value of your work.  Here are a few of the many questions you could ask yourself:

Does this image tell a story?
Does this image evoke emotion?
Does this image make a statement?
Does this image show something unique or unusual?
Does this image show something common but seen in a different way? (Different light, different angle, different perspective, additional elements, etc.)

I asked the last question above about this composition.  I took lots of photos of these yellow fields of flowers along with all the other photographers in this location.  But I always try to think of what I can do to make my photos unique or different from the crowd.  I spotted this scene a ways away from where the rest of the people were taking pictures.  I liked the way the flowers looked like yellow ribbons as they reached the base of the mountain, and decided that this met the criteria of photographing something common, while including a unique element.