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Ask JoeB: Is this a good use of light, atmospheric perspective and line?

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Gary, one of my long time blog followers, sent me this photo to talk about. As usual, I like to let my readers know what my fellow photographers had to say. The reason being that there might have been times when the same situation happened to them, or perhaps they had or have a similar question.

Here’s what Gary had to say:

“Hello Joe,

I know your a big believer in light and how good use of light can really kick your photos up a notch. In this photo I was trying to use the sunlight as best as I could to really make it feel like a tangible part of the picture. Also with virtually every part of the image at the same focus (infinity), I tried using atmospheric perspective with the background mountain ranges to create depth. Lastly I tried using the railroad tracks to create some movement in the picture to help lead your eye to the mid ground rock formation. Of course no train ever seems to come at the right time when I am taking the picture :).

Is this a good use of light, atmospheric perspective and line?”

Thank you,

Gary

Gary,

First of all it’s important for people to know what is meant by Atmospheric Perspective. I talked about it in my online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet. I actually wrote a post in 2014 that touched on it: http://joebaraban.com/blog/quick-photo-tip-adding-depth-to-your-photos/

Atmospheric Perspective isn’t necessarily something you try using, it’s something that’s naturally inherent in our daily lives; simply a scattering of dust particles that’s between you, the subject, and the horizon. As photographers we merely work with it or around it, and it’s not always going to be in our best interest…photographically.

The phenomenon has been around since the time of Roman wall paintings. Leonardo da Vinci wrote about it, ” Colours become weaker in proportion to their distance from the person who is looking at them”.

For me personally, the fact that the farthest away objects takes on the color of the haze is not appealing and as a result I usually try to avoid it.

Take a look Gary:

http://www.screencast.com/t/fOqAHtjFRWVQ

I’m not sure Line comes into play here as there’s not really any leading or directional lines, or a Vanishing Point that moves the viewer around the frame. It’s the depth from front to back that’s moving the viewer from front to back.

One last note…I’m not sure the viewer would ever see the train tracks unless you mention that they’re there. Since you won’t be around to explain your thought process, it would need to be a “quick read”.

I like your photo, as it has a certain quiet mood created by the de-saturation (caused by the scattering of water vapor) occurring from front to back.

Thanks for the submission.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

Keep sending in your photos and questions to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.

JoeB

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