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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Out the door

Are you still with me? We're nearly out the door but before we go there's a couple of shots we need to get to complete the picture.

The sun is well and truly on its way down. The Taj itself is already in twilight but the last rays of the setting sun are still hitting the main entrance gate. It may not be the main attraction but is still incredibly beautiful in any light, this light in particular.

You can still see people milling about, reluctant to leave this little piece of paradise. The people at the bottom of the frame are conveniently wearing white saris which stand out against the shadowed area in the foreground.

A silhouetted palm tree tells you that it isn't exactly cold and there's a lovely shadow running down the middle of the door arch, giving it shape and texture.

Speaking of door arches...

Foreground frames are a popular compositional tool but oftentimes are mis-used. For any type of photography, every element of the picture has to contribute something. If it doesn't help reinforce the picture then it's best to get rid of it.

Foreground frames are the perfect example of this, especially in travel photography. They need to tell you something about the location.

It's no good just having any old door frame to put around the Taj Mahal. If it had been a rectangle wooden jobby I would have let the shot go. But because it has that lovely Arabic curve and shape to it it tells you something about the style of architecture.

Here I took an exposure reading off the sky itself to render the doorframe a deep shadowy silhouette. I can actually pull detail out in Photoshop but it doesn't have anywhere near the impact that it does as a silhouette.

So keep an eye out for things that you can use as picture foreground frames - but just remember if they don't contribute something to the picture they're not worth having.

Tomorrow will be the last post in the Taj series and I'm going to show you a couple of shots that I'm pretty sure you will never have seen before. Hint: they weren't taken from inside the Taj complex. :)


Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff - thanks.

Paul Dymond said...

You're very welcome. I'm glad you're enjoying it. :)