Black-bellied Plover – Composition is a Matter of Personal Taste

/, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County/Black-bellied Plover – Composition is a Matter of Personal Taste

One photo of a Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola), two different compositions:

Nonbreeding Black-bellied Plover on one legNonbreeding Black-bellied Plover on one leg (horizontal) – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/750, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

As much as I like to compose images that are full frame I find that I often allow myself a touch of extra space around my subject so I can recompose in post processing by making different crops.

When I photographed the resting Black-bellied Plover in the frame above it was on the edge of a tidal lagoon at Fort De Soto’s north beach with evening light falling softly on the shorebird. For this version I cropped a little off of the left side of the frame to make the bird closest to that edge because the plover was looking towards the right side of the frame and used a horizontal format. I wanted to leave as much of the water as possible in this composition because I love the contrast of the cool blues of the water and the light, warm tones of the sand and the bird’s plumage.

Nonbreeding Black-bellied Plover on one legNonbreeding Black-bellied Plover on one leg (vertical) – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/750, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

This is the same image but I cropped it vertically and tighter around the subject. I like both compositions and find them equally appealing but other people they may prefer one over the other because of their own personal tastes.

Mia

14 Comments

  1. Scott Simmons October 15, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I gotta go with the horizontal. Both are nice, but I like that the horizontal includes a little of its environment.

  2. Elijah Goodwin April 23, 2012 at 6:01 am

    I like the horizontal better because of the greater perspective of place, but the vertical works well too and would make a great cover image. Well done!

    • Mia McPherson April 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      Thank Elijah, I think the vertical would be a lovely cover image too.

  3. Julie Brown April 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Mia, they are both beautiful. The top image shows environment, but the bottom one brings you closer to the bird.

  4. Susan April 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Wonderful images, Mia I prefer the first one, which is interesting because I usually prefer a tight crop. I’ll have to do some experimenting of my own it seems:)

    • Mia McPherson April 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      Thanks Susan, it is interesting that twp people who normally prefer tighter crops prefer the looser one.

  5. Eileen April 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Hello Mia, stopping by after reading Dawn’s post. Your photography is beautiful. And I like both images, mainly because I love the bird. You have a wonderful blog, have a Happy Sunday!

    • Mia McPherson April 22, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      Hello Eileen, thank you for stopping by my blog and for commenting on my photography. Have a wonderful week!

  6. Beverly Everson April 22, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Both well done but I prefer #1. I like negative space and it just works with that plover looking in that direction. 🙂 Great as always!

    • Mia McPherson April 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      Beverly, thanks for weighing in with your preference. I love all the blue in #1. Thank you, your comment is appreciated.

  7. Ron Dudley April 22, 2012 at 5:45 am

    Very interesting experiment in composition Mia. Generally I tend to prefer relatively tight crops on the subject but in this case I’m more strongly drawn to the horizontal version. A lovely image!

    • Mia McPherson April 22, 2012 at 6:28 pm

      Thanks Ron, it is interesting to know you prefer the looser, horizontal version.

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