Review PA Photo-Walk – photo composition – The Stockholm Archipelago

In this last review about our last PA Photo-Walk I’d like to show you some impressions of a day outside in the Archipelago of Stockholm. A day with the beauty and silence of wintertime, with dynamic, peaceful and even humoristic moments having been given to us by nature as a touching present. We were again walking on the frozen Baltic Sea.

Photographically there is a short glimpse on photo composition and the very often discussed theme whether to compose with the so called composition “rules” or not, as well as there is a short glimpse on composing a whole frame with structures or elements and planes only.

As it is often written or said there are so called “rules”, on how one should compose a photo. Well composition is the next step besides the technical knowledge when shooting. But composition is only one step further, there are many others before a photo transports a message, catches the eye of an audience and so on.

Okay we do have some composition “rules”, such like the “Rules of Thirds” or framing with lines or elements in the middle of the frame or not framing like this, or “reading” a photo from the left to the right etc.
These “rules” have a long tradition; they are part of the history of photography and art in common. But when looking back at the past/at history, you’ll soon discover, that they always have been “broken” by this or that way. Already in paintings e.g. very different styles have been presented, the whole history of painting is a history of changes and developments of different kinds of art.

Thus it might be said very short: Art doesn’t obey “rules”. There is the knowledge on how to compose and one should learn this knowledge. But it is your decision how you want to compose finally – following the “rules” or feeling free to compose differently.
Whatever you want to do, whatever you decide looking through the view-finder, it’s you, who has to be convinced of your decision however.

Especially in landscape the “Rules of Thirds” are very often recommended – following them, while composing, you’ll get a photo with a real balanced harmony. Thus the horizontal line is always placed in one third within the frame; e.g. two thirds landscape, horizontal line and  last third sky or one third landscape, horizontal line and two thirds sky.

Okay let’s look at these photos over here:

Schärengarten 01 DSC03937-3

Schärengarten 02 DSC04005-1

Schärengarten 03 DSC04023-3-so

Schärengarten 04 DSC04345-4

The horizontal line (in this case the horizon itself) was composed at all different places, but never within a third of the frame.
In the first photo it was placed in the middle of the frame and this was done on purpose. Thus there is sort of a cut; the photo is somehow divided into two equal part concerning the size. But both parts show immense contrasts – the dynamic of the sky and the calmness of the frozen Baltic Sea. It seems, as if these two parts don’t fit to each other – thus the contrasts in between showing this moment/situation in the landscape are presented very clearly. Dynamic and peace sort of stitched together while composing with the horizon line in the middle of the frame.
Looking at the other photos you’ll see that depending where the horizon was placed within the frame either the sky or the frozen Baltic Sea is given weight to/is emphasized. Especially in the last photo you recognize that the horizon is extremely high up and only a very small part of the frame. In this case the horizon and sky is barely hinted at as existing, the main message is the light on the surface of the snow – the horizon is but a small visible clue where this light came from.

Even these few photos already show, how differently one can work and that not following “rules” also leads to interesting photos, transporting other messages.

Over here there is a photo which follows the “Rule of Thirds” more closely – the rock is placed at one of the important intersections.

Schärengarten 05 DSC04321-3

Now this was a situation where the traditional knowledge about composing fit perfectly to transport the calmness and harmony within the landscape – the silence of this sundown/sunset.

Okay let’s change to some humoristic scenes and even in landscape photography there are really many, which only wait to be discovered. Just look at the following photos:

The “cloud” having fallen down from the sky and now being “frozen” on the Baltic Sea,

Schärengarten 06 DSC04058-1so

the footprints ending abruptly and not leading back,

Schärengarten 07 DSC04039-1-so

the rock coming up like a volcano breaking through the ice.

Schärengarten 08 DSC04159-2

And finally some impressions on how one can fill a frame with structures, elements and planes only:

Schärengarten 09 DSC04015-4

Schärengarten 10 DSC04223-2-so

Schärengarten 11 DSC04180-1-so

Schärengarten 12 DSC04376-1

Now I hope you have enjoyed the reports on our PA photo-walks in Sweden and that you have also  had a small glimpse at the beauty of this country. With summertime coming up pretty soon, there’ll be new PA photowalks in Sweden again. So stay tuned.

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