Sarutobi boat, Sandankyo, Hiroshima-ken, Japan, photo

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Sarutobi boat, Sandankyo, Hiroshima-ken, Japan, photo
In Search of Beauty - Photos by Reggie Thomson
I'm sitting on the right-hand side of a second "sarutobi" boat, behind the gentleman who is pulling us along with the aid of the rope that you can see exiting to the left of the photo. Below me is some seven metres of crystal clear water flowing from the Nidankai Falls, which I am about to visit.

To take this photo, I wrapped the strap twice round my right arm and held the camera as far out over the water as I could. The Canon Powershot Pro90 IS is one of the few digital cameras with a fully swivellable screen that gives me the freedom to take photos like this. (PS. In other words, I was able to see the screen as I took this photo, and did not have to resort to "wild guesses" or "luck")

There are, to my mind, three key points in this photograph. Probably the area that catches your immediate attention when you first look at this photo is the people in the boat. Evolutionary regression in humans has taught us that we are our own worst enemies, so that in 99% (I'm guessing) of photos containing people, it is the people that we first look at. That's why I believe people have to be very carefully positioned in photos. I have put them close to the bottom left, well below any "rule of thirds" position.

The second key point that I think you will look at, are the bright trees to the top left. I think your eyes will follow the line of the rope.

The third key point is the light green patch of river to the bottom right. I don't think your eyes will have gone directly from top right to bottom left, because the darker rocks in the background act to block your way. I suspect your eyes returned to the boat first and followed the light along the brighter part of the river. Maybe you followed the rays of sunlight, but actually, I didn't see these as I was taking the photo - they were a pleasant surprise afterwards!

Having looked at the key points in the photo, I guess you will let your eyes roam.

Well, I have given a detailed analysis of the composition of this photo. I hope it helps you think about what your eyes do when you look at photo, perhaps here on Photosig, and will then help to improve your own photos.

Dedicated to the Takeda family, who took me to these wonderful places in Hiroshima one weekend in November 2001
Location: Latitude=34.62079409039237, Longitude=132.1802646239033, Google maps

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