In this series, we present a look-book of authentic photographs collected by the writers and editors here at ThemeKeeper Tuts+. We hope these pictures inspire you new ideas, help kindle new projects, and give you a better understanding of visual communication.
Look at This Fab Flock of Flamingos
A Closer Look at This Image
Flamingos are stunning birds; we might think it’s easy to get a great picture of them. However, birds of a feather do tend to stick together: they’re often grouped together and can be tricky to photograph in engaging way. Let’s look at why this image works really well, and how demonstrates good technique.
The vibrant blue and pale pink complement each other well. Personally I’d prefer that the green/yellow plants in the background weren’t there, but cutting the composition at that point would’ve ruined the image. As it is, it’s possible they’ve been desaturated, or just looked bleached due to the sun, anyway.
Clear Composition and Controlled Focus
The three flamingos in the foreground work perfectly, particularly because they’re evenly spaced and in a row—you can imagine the photographer waiting a while to get such a great composition. It’s also great that the two on either end are facing forwards and the middle one has its head turned!
The three central birds are balanced nicely by the flock in the background. We get a sense of the great number of flamingos there are, but it doesn’t detract from the main subjects. This is helped greatly by the depth of field.
It would’ve been quite easy to have everything in focus here, but the photographer has decided to make us concentrate on the three front flamingos and to blur the flock at the back with a shallow depth of field.
I mentioned the composition of the three flamingos, but as well as being aesthetically pleasing, they seem to tell a story too. It’s almost like we’re seeing one flamingo walking, rather than three; like a flipbook.
The reflections are even broken up, almost interlaced, hinting at connotations surrounding video, suggesting movement even though this is a still image.
Reading a Photograph
We’d love to hear your take on this photograph, and if you’re not sure where to begin, then How to Read a Photograph will get you started with how to analyse photography. Mostly, it’s just saying what you see and how you feel about an image!
Is this a commercial shot? A portrait? Both? Here we’ll look at this image of a barber trimming a man’s hair and see what makes it an interesting image.
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How often do we get to see a rail yard from above? Just look at those lines and colours; wow. Let’s see why this is such a successful photograph.