A quick portrait by the fountain in Riverside Park, Neenah. This photo was taken with the beautiful afternoon light during the “blue hour”. The f/4 aperture should be obvious as the fountain is not in focus. I could have done more depth of field but that would have meant cranking up the ISO = more noise. I was at 800 ISO which for this camera is just fine.
What makes this photo “work” is the good compositional elements. When we see a photo our eyes are first drawn to the brightest part. I did a curves and color adjustment to the picture to show the brightest parts.
The upper left is blown out and our eyes start there. But we also see that her skin and hair are very bright so our eyes are also pulled there.
We also see there are natural lines in the picture. The vertical poles and trees lead us down; the base of the fountain lead us right; the lines of her leg and arms lead us to her face. Even the falling drops of water pull our eyes down into the picture.
Finally, she is about 1/3 of the way in the frame (from the right) and this is usually an appealing position (rule of thirds).
So… was all this in my mind when I took the picture? Probably not! But I do think some of it was on purpose and a lot is internalized from years of practice. So take lots of pictures!
Canon 5d MkIII | Canon 24-105 f/4 L | 47mm | 1/50s at f/4