MNSU 4411b

© Brad Mangas

Thought I would share an image here that seems to be the popular one of the month if not summer. I have worked this image up in 3 different sizes recently with more orders than that for this month. What is it that makes this image the one people want?

Here are a few of my thoughts on this:

The quality and range of light in this scene is wonderful. From the darkness of the road and shadows that still hold hints of detail to the brightness of the sunrise and sky above, all fall within the range of a natural picture.

The colors are great. I was very fortunate when I chose to visit this location for a chance at such a sunrise. The colors of the sky and the field seemed emphasized by the darker road in the foreground. The fog which lingers was and added bonus from the early morning visit. I had visualized such a scene a few days earlier when I drove this road.

Relatable. We all spend many hours driving to and from our daily destinations. We can relate to being on the road driving through the countryside many time only being able to catch a brief view of the beauty that surrounds us.

Composition/Engagement. There are multiple scenes within this one shot. The road leads you down a path that joins rising sun. Leading lines are a very big plus in a photograph. They can give the viewer a sense of heading towards a better place. They can carry the viewer from foreground to background or from side to side. The open view of the field, the feeling of countryside and freedom. There are specific items in this image that drew my attention even as I viewed it days before in the afternoon. For me it was the field and especially the hay bales. Since it was in the after noon when I first spotted this there was no sunrise or colorful sky, that was something I had to visualize in addition to the elements there. Maybe this is just a country thing that I enjoy, but from the response I have gotten from the multiple sales of this shot others seem to enjoy this as well. Before the few hay bales showed up along this road it didn’t seem to do much for me. That small inclusion of interest that the bales provide add just enough to make the field come alive with added detail.

So, just what is it that makes a picture popular or desirable? In this case many things seemed to come together.  This is not to say that a photograph has to have all of these items or any of them for that matter. A photograph can stand strong simply with one main item. But that item needs to be extremely powerful and captivative. Macro shots can do just that. Or my favorite type of photography referred to as intimate landscapes. A style visualized so wonderfully in the earlier days of photography  by Eliot Porter and carried on today by many including Guy Tal just to name one of the more well known photographers. A photo that invokes wonderment or emotions can be a powerful visual treat.

Spend time to visualize what you would like in a photograph, chances are you aren’t the only one that will like it that way. Spend time trying different options, shoot at different times of the day, try to incorporate different elements in the scene. I took multiple shots of this image that morning trying to capture not only the sunrise at an optimal time but the light falling on the land, different views of the road and field. I stood in the road and took shots (I don’t advocate that unless you are sure of the traffic) but the point is to experiment, don’t be satisfied with just a shot or maybe dozens of shots. Ask yourself what would help make this better, then work on creating it.

Click on the image for a larger view at the gallery

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