18 September 2015

Friday Photo Tip: Animal Abstracts


Here is an example of a type of shot I love to make, an animal abstract. It is a tight close up of a group of Marine Iguanas sleeping.  These Iguanas are from Espanola Island. The Iguana of Espanola are nicknamed Christmas Iguanas because of their unique red and green coloration. It is believed this distinctive coloring is due to differences in their diet.

One of the things I like about this image is that unless you are familiar with the animal, the subject of the picture is not immediately recognizable. I also like that there is a lot going on compositionally within this image. The main lines of the image read from the lower left to the upper right. I have included the two hands in the shot not only to act as anchor points, but also to give the viewer another clue as to what they are looking at. Additionally as the eye naturally bounces between these two hands this reads from the upper left to the lower right, counter to the main lines of the image. This adds visual tension and additional interest to the shot.

Always try to be aware of how the viewer’s eye is going to move through your image. I use leading lines, anchor points, positive and negative space, and many other compositional elements to pull their eye where I want it within the frame.

Good Luck and Good Light!


Image: Marine Iguanas, The Galapagos Islands