In some ways this is very similar to my previous post. (You may need to click on the photo to see the entire photo more easily) This photo was taken very close to where the last one was on Abraham Lake. They are both abstract photos of nature using very strong design principles. They both play with positive and negative space, but instead of being very organic, this is very angular. The composition is almost entirely based on the rule of thirds — the dark line in the ice is about 1/3rd of the way down and protrudes about 2/3rds of the way into the photo. The ice in the photo covers about 1/3rd of the area, and the snow covers the other 2/3rds. This visual weighting based on the rule of thirds generally works very well, even if the dark and light areas of a photo are not seperated by a straight line (although here they are clearly seperated by a horizontal line). So, while the rule of thirds is almost over-popularized, it is still effective for creating interesting and new compositions.
Finally starting to make my way through photos from the last few trips. This is from Abraham Lake, which has been extensively photographed by many Alberta landscape photographers. It’s easy to come up with the standard compositions here, but it’s also easy to come up with new stuff. There’s just so much variety in the ice, water and rocks. These are methane bubbles from decomposing organic matter. The bubbles form in the ice as the water freezes layer by layer.
In a shot like this, composition is everything. It has to balance the visual weight of light and dark. The three smaller bubbles on the left have to balance with the two larger bubbles on the right. The negative space and positive space both have to be interesting — here the textures in the ice and bubbles add visual interest. And because it’s nature and you can never control it completely, there will always be random elements to deal with. In this picture, the shadow of something deeper lies near the top of the frame. I like the visual reminder that in photography, art is created between the artist and the subject: you never have complete control.