In this series, we present a look-book of authentic photographs collected by the writers and editors here at Envato Tuts+. We hope these pictures inspire ideas, help kindle new projects, and give you a better understanding of visual communication.
A Closer Look at This Image
It’s hard not to be impressed by a photograph of a glacier, they’re stunning. Would this stand out from other photographs though? I think so, and here’s why.
The cool blues here are just beautiful—the ice is like stained glass, so vivid. The white of the snow isn’t tainted by the blue, either. Perhaps this because of the direction of the light? Or perhaps the photographer has white-balanced this area slightly in post-production. The image benefits from that slice of white, as it makes the blues pop even more.
It's not all cold-and-ice, though. There is a spot of warm colour in the orange helmet of the adventurer. In some ways this is a distraction from the awesome landscape, but it’s a welcome one. It’s quite nice to acknowledge the person admiring the ice and then let your eyes wander back to those blues again.
I know ice is frozen water, but this image really does give the impression of what it would be like to be inside of a wave. The ripples in the ice convey movement, and they’re soft curves rather than the sharper, harder shapes of ice we’re generally used to seeing—like icicles, frozen paths and plants.
Subject or Object?
Is the subject of the image the person, or the ice? For me, it’s undoubtedly the ice, though I definitely think the photo benefits from the inclusion of the person. As I mentioned before, it almost gives your eyes a break to land briefly on the person and then go back to the ice and snow. It also breaks up the large amount of white, which is less interesting than the blue texture.
The person’s pose is just right too, had they been standing, then their head (and so the orange helmet) would have been over the blue rather than the white, which might have disrupted that lovely, curving flow.
Reading a Photograph
We'd love to hear your take on this photograph, and if you're not sure where to begin, then How to Read a Photograph will get you started with how to analyse photography. Mostly, it's just saying what you see and how you feel about an image!