Nick Ng, 85, Exotic Travel Better Photography Magazine Photograph of the Year Competition 2015
Scale. The human eye (and brain) react to differences of scale and when it comes to photographic composition, the response can be very positive.
In Nick Ng's evocative travel photograph, our brain tells us that all of the men are essentially the same size, yet the gentleman in the middle is much, much larger within the frame. This is because he is closer to the camera, of course, but there are some carefully considered aspects to Nick's composition that makes it work.
First is the framing of the main gentleman. He is contained within the frame and his pose and posture are perfect, caught in the middle of a cleansing action. His left arm balances his right, the towel or t-shirt on his back sits in balance, and the muted yellow browns of his attire contrast against the cool blues of the sky. Nick's timing is perfect and had this gentleman not been so serenely posed, the image might not be so successful.
Second, all the other gentlemen are the same scale and this is because they are all the same distance from the camera, too. They create a horizontal line, parallel to the two banks of the river and crossing the vertical line of the main figure. But note how each of the poses in the background men is interesting and different. You can take a lot of photographs at a location like this, but only a few will have the serendipity required where all the poses and postures work together as a whole.
Finally, note the muted colour palette and the soft light. With such a strong, dominant composition, subtle colouring is all that's required to produce a very strong travel image.
The new Nikon D5 and Canon EOS-1D X Mark II pro DSLRs
Do Canon and Nikon have spies working in each other's factories? Or is it just that the Olympics is happening later this year and both companies want to impress with a new pro camera? And the winner is?
I have worked extensively with both the Nikon D4 and Canon EOS-1D X cameras and, along with the new Phase One XF, I think that they represent the best cameras in the world history in terms of ergonomics and fit for purpose. The new D5 and remodelled EOS-1D X Mark II remain up the top although to be frank, I don't see any camp swapping. If I already had an investment in one or the other brand, I wouldn't be switching over. Both are superb machines. Both will keep their respective camps very, very happy.