De-composing an image

Just the one image today, but a very useful one indeed.  It’s a great example because it shows just how complex an image can be whilst seeming to be quite simple.  It’s of a piece of marble sculpture, and was a jagged line going up into the sky, like an inverted lightning bolt.

"God Rod - no lines" by Derek Gale

“No added lines” by Derek Gale

I carefully choose a low angle to get rid of any background distractions, and to emphasise the height of the sculpture.  I made sure that the composition started in the bottom left corner and went diagonally up to the right.  I was also very careful to ensure that the white tip of the sculpture reached, and defined, the top edge of the frame and “trapped” the cloud inside the shape to its left, leaving a dark area to the right.

"God Rod - main diagonal line" by Derek Gale

“Main diagonal line” by Derek Gale

Even though there’s a break in the line, where the sculpture kinks sharply, you can see quite clearly that the main composition line goes from corner to corner.  The final third of the line is implied rather than explicit.

"God Rod - corner lines" by Derek Gale

“Mirrored corner lines” by Derek Gale

In the top right corner the last part of the sculpture crosses from right to left to form a triangle with the edges of the frame.  In the bottom right corner there’s another, less defined, dark triangle that mirrors it.  It’s formed by the soft edge of the cloud and the edges of the frame.  This shape mirroring makes the composition more interesting.

"God Rod - triangles" by Derek Gale

“Implied triangles” by Derek Gale

There are other triangles in the image.  Having these triangles adds to the image complexity, and the soft edged ones contrast with the hard edges of the sculpture.  For example there’s a triangle formed by the “trapped” cloud’s edge and the kink in the sculpture, and another below it formed by the cloud and the frame edge.  If you look hard you’ll see even more!

As for the patterns in the marble being similar to the texture of the cloud, or the colours/tones of the sculpture matching the colours/tone of the background, or both the sculpture and the background going from a darker base to a lighter top…

Not such a simple image then!

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