Three of Ansel Adam’s photographs No. 2


The power of this photograph is an excellent showcase of Adams’ compositional skills.  As the Photo Idea Index tells us “the trick is to recognize good composition when you see it through the viewfinder (… )”(74).  Adams is taking a picture outside of a studio and uses the layout of the trees themselves to create a dynamic seen.  Notice how the smaller tree in the front is highlighted, the white spaces calling for attention due to the darker background. 

The placement of the  camera so the smaller tree is set off to the left is also a choice that helps the photo grab the viewer.  Adams uses unequal spaces and asymmetry to prevent the viewer’s eye from growing bored and moving away.  Instead the eye constantly looks for new details and is always able to find new ones due to the quality of the photograph.


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