What Makes This A Great Photo?
*Absolutely gorgeous light. The sun breaking though the clouds adds a real sense of drama to this photo, and the contrast from the dark bottom to the light top adds great depth.
*The symmetry. Breaking the ‘rule of thirds’ rule to great effect, as one reason this shot works so well, in my opinion, is because of the almost flawless symmetry.
*Great patterns. The wooden boards of the pier create a very pleasing-to-the-eye pattern.
*The atmosphere. It looks like the pier stretches on to infinity – where does it lead to? Does it ever end? And where are all the people…?
All of these elements mean that a quite commonly-photographed subject of a pier can be made to be so much more in the right creative hands – I wish I’d taken this photo!
A Message From The Photographer:
The shot of Boscombe Pier was taken near where I grew up. It was my childhood beach. The day was cold and windy and I’d taken my Canon G11 in case something caught my eye. The pier did just that. I yelled at the person I was with to stop, and positioned myself slightly to the left of the centre of the pier to remove a few people from the shot. I had in mind that sense of timeless isolation that you feel when you seem to be the only person in the middle of a vast space.
I thought I’d also share a few words on editing, as the editing is what really brings out the character of the shot. I kept the image in colour as it reflects the day and the weather and provides more of a context to the viewer. If the image were black and white it would be a focus on form, rather than drama. I increased the contrast and added a vignette and a graduated filter to bring out the sky. You can find the camera settings on Flickr.
What I love about the photo is the spontaneity of it. It was a quick shot taken whilst on a walk. The image quality of the G11 is very impressive at low ISOs, a match for an entry level DSLR, and it’s great to have a camera in my pocket that can capture the scene so well.
Many thanks to David for supplying this great insight into his shot, and for taking such a great photo in the first place!