I must admit when I heard this phrase earlier in the week, it caught my attention. With all of the one click, attention grabbing, cliche filters out there, it would seem hard to believe. But even with these, despite the briefness of the exchange, the content of the image does plays some role in the final choice of settings.
Some images take longer to process than others, longer to find the right balance and mood. To bring out the qualities in the image that first attracted you. To show the viewer of the image what you saw. That is no surprise, each image brings its own unique qualities, and challenges. Part of learning how to post process images is learning to recognise the issues and the techniques that can best take advantage of them.
Anything more than 500 yds from the car just isn't photogenic. - Brett Weston
The best landscape images are not always when the sky is on fire or the peace of the blue hour leaves stills the world. If the landscape only looked great around sunrise and sunset then why can it take our breath away, just simply driving around a corner. Landscape images show us the world in all its moods and find the beauty within them.
Do you remember laying on your back, looking at the clouds in the sky and trying to see characters and shapes. Did you call out to our friends, hey look that's a rabbit.... or that's looks like a witch on her broom... Relaxing in the summer sun without a care in the world, this is the joy of childhood. Of course now we are adults we don't do that anymore, how silly...or maybe not. Do we take the time, make the time to just relax. Sure our lives are busier and we have more responsibilities, but that doesn't mean things like watching the clouds are only for children. In this case Kelly pointed out the dog on the cloud.
The image reminds me of lazy summer evenings at the beach, warm winds and relaxing meals. In truth the wind was cold, it is still early spring, and we were miles from the sea. Still it was a nice way to watch the sun set.
If you read any introductory article on composition, they will all suggest you avoid placing your subject in the center of the image. Some even call the center of the image, the dead center. Some people even think the risk of putting a subject in the center is too much for them and therefore never explore this bold composition choice. So does this mean we should follow this advice?
Placing the subject in the center, means the dynamic energy for the composition must come from the relationships between the subject and the other elements in the image. The secondary subjects, lines, and other shapes in the composition must lead the eye around and provide interest. This emphasizes these secondary elements and enriches the story that can be conveyed by the image. This can lead to powerful compositions which are hard to beat.
In the case of the image above, I enjoyed how all the elements swirl and radiate out from the volcano, drawing attention to and emphasizing the effect that the volcano has on their landscape. From the lava flows in the foreground to the broken sky above.
The volcano itself seems to occupy a quiet space in the center of the composition, a place of calm and rest. To me it feels small and resting, a sleeping giant that is happy just to lurk in the background. It's time has not come yet. There may be movements deep under the crust, pressure may even be building, but for the moment the giant sleeps. What will happen next, who knows?