Cliff reflections

Cropping is my friend! Day 15 Photography 101

When I take photos as references for later paintings I often use my artist’s eye to create a composition close to what I will eventually paint. This is just something that happens naturally as I spend my time screening everything I see as a potential painting subject! I scan scenes looking for pleasing squares, portrait , landscape or panorama shaped snippets from the landscape. In effect I “crop” the landscape before I click the shutter.

I find it helps starting with a good composition and then later I’ll crop again looking for compositions within the composition. In this way a single photo might provide references for a whole series of paintings.

The original photo above has many of the elements  I look for in a painting reference:

  • complimentary colours ( blue and yellow)
  • areas of strong contrast ( the shadows on the sand) ,
  • good leading lines ( the diagonal of the beach, the vertical tree trunks and the horizontal water plane)
  • roughly follows the rule of thirds

Here is my first painting using the uncropped photo.

Here I take that original and crop a new series that focuses on the shadows on the beach and the cliff reflections. My favourite is the square format and I plan to use this as a pastel demonstration for reflections very soon (stay tuned).

Next I try a different series where I leave out the beach entirely and look in more detail at sections of the cliff. Here the tall thin composition is a portrait of the large gumtree but I would move the boat off to the left a little. I prefer the square reflection crop and this helps confirm that what really interests me about this subject are the reflections.

So now I zero right in on the reflections and take a look at some more abstract crops. These crops retain the basic elements of complimentary colours, leading lines and areas of strong contrast so will  work equally well as a painting.

So that’s why cropping is my friend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Cropping is my friend! Day 15 Photography 101”

  1. Pingback: LindyWhittonStudio

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s