What Makes A Photo Work?

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Photo Composition Tip: Direct The Eye

The edited image as presented for feedback.


Our Anonymous Photographer has excelled himself or herself with some fantastic light and the use of a rock to add foreground interest. The post-production on the clouds and the colour balance are excellent and the result is a classic landscape.


However, the top of the photograph is much more powerful than the bottom half where large areas of shaded grass are a little boring. What are our options?


If most of the action in the photograph is happening in the top half, would it not be easier to just crop the bottom 25% off? It focuses our eye on the wonderful light, but maybe the composition is a little squeezed. So another option is to add some interest into the foreground to match the strength of the sunlight on the hills behind.



Above is the unedited photograph supplied by the Anonymous Photographer and below is my first suggestion to the edited image: to darken down the sky (up the top of the frame), just enough to keep the eye on the mountains and the sunlight. This contains the top of the frame.



In the next step (below), I have used a curves adjustment layer with a mask to brush in some 'pretend' sunshine, bringing up the detail in the grass. Not all of the grass, just some of it. This, I hope, brings the foreground to life.



Finally, I have darkened the top and bottom edges (below), just a fraction. Hopefully this looks a little more powerful than the starting point! Once again, most of the hard yards have been done by our Anonymous Photographer - thanks for sharing!



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