Graphic quality of the image

 

The human mind is not comfortable with chaos. Visions of reality are more acceptable to us if they follow some kind of order. Human beings are compulsive symmetry seekers, unconsciously attracted to the visual impact of infinitely repeated shapes, which is also where nature, science and mathematics converge. The eye is automatically drawn to the lines, patterns and shapes that visually emerge from a photograph. In our instinctive perception, an apparent visual balance of the shapes and colours in an image are equated, in our collective consciousness, with the presence of harmony and beauty.

 

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Recognisable patterns are abundant in nature and the photographer must consciously seek out these patterns, which the brain perceives as visually pleasant. The point of view of this shot of a flowering cactus was consciously selected so as to capture the perfect geometry of its form viewed from this angle. The overhead positioning of the camera also served to keep all the pink flowers in focus to overcome the challenge of the short depth of field normally available in macro photography.

 

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Silhouettes are produced when the intensity of light falling on the subject is lower than that lighting up the background. This serves to sacrifice the recording of the details of the subject while emphasising the broad contours of its shape. The intricate pattern of the veins in the wings of the dragonfly and its shape become the subject matter of this shot at the expense of the details of its body.

 

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The parallel sections of the grey sky at the top and the black and the mud coloured mountain ranges below it, in this photograph, are sought to be offset by the white and red monastery located near the bottom corner. The effort was to divide the image into clearly demarcated equal layers of different colours, with each layer following the same general shape. The positioning of the monastery ties the whole composition together.

 

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The pink-orange colour of the feathers of this flamingo at rest is quite striking in itself. The viewer’s eye follows the sinuous shape of the neck cradled on its back till it reaches the eye of the bird. The wide open eye breaks the otherwise flowing lines to remind us that this flamingo is wide awake and is watching us.

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