Sunday, March 25, 2018

Meditative Photography -- 3-D (part 4)


Framing within your image can add depth. 

The window inside an old temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in the photograph below, provides a strong frame for the scene outside, helping the eye to compute depth.

An Ancient Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia

In the photograph below, the two pine trees frame the pristine water and majestic mountains of Alaska, creating a sense of depth.

Now, if I took away the two pine trees, this same image as depicted below looks rather flat (sorry, I don't have a photo without the pine trees, so I just cropped the above photo to show you what it would look like without the pine trees).


Including a visual point of interest in the foreground can also create a sense of depth. In the photo below, the eye is fascinated by the round baskets, it studies the details wondering what they are for, it then goes further into the photo to search for an answer. As the eye looks further into the middle of the photo, it sees more round baskets. And as the eye goes further into the water, it sees something small floating near two big boats. Can that be one of these brown or blue baskets? Nah, it can't be! How does a person float in one of these baskets?

Fish Market in Mui Ne, Viet Nam

INDEED! Some of these round baskets are actually boats!

Fish Market in Mui Ne, Viet Nam

Fish Market in Mui Ne, Viet Nam

A fun tidbit: this is how people transport their basket boats!

On the Way Home from the Fish Market in Mui Ne, Viet Nam

Below is another example of using items in the foreground to create depth. In the photo below, the pink ice flowers grab your attention and then the shore line pulls you further into the photo (click here to read previous post for explanation on the use of lines in creating depth).

Summer at Cedarmere in the Blue Ridge, Free Union, VA

This photo also provides a good example of another "rule of thirds," a design rule based on the concept of the Chinese philosophical system of Feng Shui. Feng Shui aims to encourage the flow of spiritual energy while creating a harmonious environment. Feng Shui favors a grouping of three because in such a grouping, there is a "center." With a center, there is a sense of balance. To me, the photo above is brimming with harmonious energy. I love the fact that the ice plant, the yellow Adirondack chairs, and the boys in the photo appear (from where I was crouching) to be positioned roughly at equal distance along the rocky edge of the pond as it curves. I also love that the photo's "center" is the two bright yellow Adirondack chairs: a perfect image of a relaxing summer day. Through the composition of this photo, the viewer can feel a part of the boys' joyful playtime. 

One detail of this playtime photo provides yet another interesting compositional element to think about as you choose your subjects. When you contrast the textures of your subjects, they both stand out and create a pleasing image. In the image below (the ice plant taken from a slightly different vantage point) the delicate and smooth texture of the plant jumps out at you because it's juxtaposed against the rough, hard stones and boulders.

Ice Plant, Cedarmere in the Blue Ridge, Free Union, VA

In the photo below, Katy, one of my daughters, graciously posed for me in a wood carving village outside of Ha Noi, Viet Nam. (Thank you, Katy!). Here, I used another type of contrast to highlight both my human subject and the architecture around her. Because they are completely different in every aspects, they don't compete, allowing the eye to see both clearly.

Katy in Dong Ky Wood Carving Village, Bac Ninh Province, Viet Nam

I hope this has been a fun post for you to read and interesting images for you to see. Have a wonderful day, Christa.


  1. the photos are all wonderful and informative...especially those basket to me! Your daughter is just adorable in that photo :)

  2. ...thanks so much for these inspiring photos. Enjoy your week.

  3. Fantastic photos !!
    Happy Easter !!

  4. Really a beautiful blog.It is very astonishing and marvelous design.