This post is a response to Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge: Week 22. There are three topics: bright spots, S-curves and flipping the horizontal axis.
A bright yellow rose, the same one taken from 2 angles, the first one shows the sky, which competes for attention since it is as bright or brighter than the flower, the second, with just the fence in the background the flower really pops:
You can really see this by changing the pictures to black and white:
This is a potato blossom that I edited for another post, by trying to reduce brightness of the foliage so the blossoms dominate in a busy picture. I would say this move was moderately successful. There is still some competing brightness on the leaves, but the only plant that catches your eye is the potato. In the first one there are two glowing spots (I think from my camera since there is nothing physical in those locations). In the second I cropped them out but there is a bit more bright foliage.
My take away from playing with this is: I find it really helpful to switch the picture to black and white mode (I use Adobe Lightroom and it is easy to do) to evaluate where the brightness leads my eye. My perception of cool and warm colors warps my sense of brightness (I didn’t realize that the sky was brighter than the rose until I changed to black and white).
Here are some very different pictures where a serpentine curve seems to be part of the composition.
Flipping the horizontal axis:
These are all of birds. I was hoping that the pictures of birds taking off out of the frame might look better flipped, but they don’t. To make these two look truly good I would have to keep the bird going the same way and somehow shift him or her to the left of the frame, possible, but a bit beyond my current skill level. I definitely favor the birds facing right.