Friday 7 July 2017

Photo Friday - Moon and Willow

I was really pleased to receive an invitation recently to put something together for Create and Craft, and my piece appeared on their blog yesterday.  If you missed it and if you're interested, you can catch it by clicking here. I've never been asked to write for other people before and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Hopefully they'll have me back again sometime! 

But now it's back to business as usual, and so without further ado...

In this week’s Photo Friday I’d like to share with you a picture I absolutely love. 

It’s not the most action-packed shot you’ll ever see, I admit.  There’s not anything going on in the photo at all.  But I think that’s probably why I like it so much.

It was taken by a family member about nine years ago. He was out in the countryside getting away from it all.  He found himself standing by a river underneath a clear blue sky. Behind him was a thick forest that carried on for some distance down the riverbank. In front of him was a very wide river.

He wanted to take a photograph to remind him of the moment but the problem facing him was that there was almost too much scenery around him to try to cram into one photograph.  So, what to do…?

The answer he came up with, and I feel it’s a very effective solution, is to go very ‘minimalist’.  What I mean by that is, if you can’t squeeze a forest and a river into one picture, then just don’t bother trying.  Instead, pick one or two or three elements that suggest your surroundings, and put those together in one photograph. 

That’s what he’s done here.  It was a clear blue sky, so that forms the background to the picture.  He can’t photograph the whole forest, but he can suggest the idea of a forest just by including a branch or two in the shot.  At the time the Moon was high in the sky, even though it was late morning. So he decided to frame the Moon using the branches of a Willow.

As a picture I feel it works really well, because it’s clean and simple and unfussy.  It manages to convey a message without cluttering up the frame.

I feel that perhaps we can learn a lot about designing our cards from photos like these; I know I have.  What I mean is, say you want to make a Christmas card – Christmas images run through your head – a robin sitting on top of a snow-capped post box; a child on a sleigh being pulled down the street by his Father; a garland or a wreath of mistletoe and ivy; carol singers.  The list goes on.  Sometimes the temptation is to try to include as much Christmas symbolism as we can in one card, but if you go the minimalist route like this photographer, you’ll find that two or three elements – for example a holly leaf and red ribbon – convey the Christmas message just as well as including all the whistles and bells you can think of.

Plus, it’s a lot cheaper and quicker to make!   

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