Tag Archives: Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge

Photo Gymnastics: Cee’s Flip and Guide Challenge 32

Okay, Cee–this is HARD for me!!  I have flipped, flopped, reversed and stood these images on their heads and for every one, I know which version I prefer, but my mind just doesn’t work in the analytical way yours does.  I am totally inductive, not deductive, but nonetheless I tried to figure out the why of why one photo works better than the other, so let’s go and see how I do!!!

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Version 2

In this photo, I definitely like the one where the man with the red shirt is to left of the burros. The eye is attracted to his red shirt, then sweeps to the right, as is a natural motion in reading. With the man on the right, the sweep of the eyes from right to left feels unnatural, and a bit like looking at the photo backwards.


The only way this photo looks good it with the two trees coming from the left and the bottom. I think it is because, as in the last photos, the eyes want to go from the left to the right. Flipping it vertically made me dizzy… so no go with that perspective.


With this goofy fella, we want to see the most interesting part first–which is this intriguing little crystal coming out of his head. It also seems more normal to start at the top and slide out eyes down the branch in a natural left to right movement. This is a photo of the larval stage of a hummingbird moth.

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These pelicans just have to be swimming from left to right or they look to me like they are swimming backwards. Isn’t the green wig on the fron guy fetching?

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Version 2

Same with this cat. In the first photo, he looks like he is gazing backwards at where he has just been–whereas in the second, he looks like he’s gazing out at a scene before him.

Version 2


Having seen this spider spin her web for weeks, I know logically that she spins it in front of her, backing away from it. The spider needs to be the first thing we see, and her web needs to be in front of her. Flipping the image gives the web itself primary importance and is disturbing to my eye.

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Here I much prefer the first version to the second. We are first drawn to the bright colors of the child’s clothing and there is then a natural “S” movement of the eyes up the baby’s legs to his torso in a left to right movement and then another curve back slightly left and up to the mother’s face to the right. I love the communication between the mother and child in this shot.

So, I think I just made the same argument over and over in this exercise, but at least I did the assignment!!!



Flipping Out and Narrowing Down:Cee’s CCY Challenge 22

I have problems approaching anything in a left-brained manner and my locational dyslexia makes mirror images a problem, but there is something about  flipping an image that is intriguing to me.  I don’t really know why I prefer one view to the other, but I always do, and I know Cee can explain why.  As for cropping–that’s my baby!––all hands on instead of preplanning.  So, I’m going to take a few images to crop and flip and let’s see what happens.

I immediately saw an image within an image in this larger shot.  See if you can see it:

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Before I show the cropped version, here is this version flipped:

Version 3Here is the crop, both original and flipped:

IMG_7596IMG_7596 (1)Can you see why I chose this detail to crop?  Do you see the bird, and perhaps a chick on the branch below her?  Okay if you don’t see the chick, as it is a bit more abstract.

Both Yolanda and I prefer the right-facing bird.  I think Cee would say it is because the eye goes to the sun-shaped light spot and then moves down to the bird and circles around to the right before curling to the left, to take in the entire scene.  With the left-facing bird, the eye goes to the “sun” , down the bird and off the tail to the edge of the photo, leaving out the entire left side.  I may or may not be right about this.  All I know is that I like the first one better.

Now I’m off in search of more to flop and chop!!!


Composed Shapes

Cee’s challenge for this week is Geometry in Photography.  Here are my thoughts on the matter:

Click on photos to enlarge and read the extensive commentary under each photo.  Oh c’mon–do it.  I took a lot of time and effort to dissect these photos as Cee requested. If you read my comments, you can point out what I missed in your own comment below! (If you can’t read the commentary under each photo, I’ve copied the commentaries below.)


Here is the commentary for photos if you can’t read it above:

  1. I pulled off the road in heavy traffic to get this shot. I loved the soft shape of the clouds sliced through by the telephone lines. The triangular shapes of the sign, the intersection of the lines and the wooden crossbars, the insulators and the top of the Norfolk Island pine are in contrast to the square shapes of the building in the background.
  2. I love this detail cropped from a larger view of my friend Carol’s studio. The round end of the paper towel roll ties in colorwise with the square/rectangular blank canvasses and the jumble of paintbrushes furnish triangular Vee shapes. The straight sides of the bottles contrast with the rumpled “O’ shapes of the inside-out rubber gloves. Order juxtapositioned with disorder makes for an artistic whole.
  1. These straw hats stored on-edge behind the grillwork of Carol’s house are one of my favorite images. The round shapes of the hats and curliques, the rectangular divisions on the grilll and the zigzag/triangular weave of the hats create busy detail in what is otherwise a simple scene.
  1. Round balloons, square box, plaid blouse, the triangle of the girl’s legs and sidewalk edge, long rectangles of the tree trunks, round wheels, zigzag of the stacked chairs. Shapes abound in this picture made more intriguing by the revealing details of the girl’s attire and stance.
  1. The triangles of their perky ears and pointed noses accented by the shadowed patterns and the trapezoid shape of the exercise machine in the background, the circular screws and platform on the machine echoed by the round studs on the collar of the dog, the commanding stance of the white dog with the black dog in a near bowing position––all intriguing details in this shot.
  1. Mexican Train offers an excellent opportunity to play with shapes. The round shape of the “station” is echoed by dots on the dominoes. The train tracks formed by the rectangular dominoes form semi-straight lines–all in all, a collage of rectangles and circles.
  1. I hesitated to include this shot of a Pemex station, but couldn’t resist the repeated patterns and shapes–squares, rectangles, T shapes––and the one round manhole cover. I also love the positions of the attendants next to the gas pumps at the rear of the photo. The clouds are the only soft thing in the photo.

To see Cee’s Geometric Photos, go HERE.

Contrasting Colors: Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge

I seem to be stuck on orange and blue for my contrasting colors!  But, the one of the animals seems to contain most of the opposites: yellow and purple, orange and blue, red and green, purple and green, gold and blue, tangerine and dull blue, green and violet, Perhaps I’ll find more tomorrow when I’m not so sleepy.

(Click on first photo and then arrows to view enlarged photographs.)

CCY Features: #18 Contrasting Colors

Harmonious Hues–Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge 17, Mar 2, 2016

Harmonious Hues

(Click on first photo to enlarge, then on arrows to move through gallery.)


Pick of the Crop

Pick of the Crop
I am really glad Cee has extended these “Compose Yourself” challenges to only two per month, as I’ve had a problem completing them in one week.  The photos I’ve chosen all presented varied cropping choices, which I’ll discuss as I show them.

(Click on photos to enlarge.)






Cropping closely and adding exposure reveals more of the transaction going on in the foreground.

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But bringing back the shadow in the foreground, helps to reveal more interesting action in the background.

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And although the focus isn’t great, I love this cropped shot of this active little jogger.


Front and Center: Compose Yourself Challenge, Dec. 17,2015

Front and CenterIMG_8245 Front and Center
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Compose Yourself Photo Challenge Week 10

Using 2/3 of your screen

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