Expert advice and tips on improving your photography from Damien Demolder. He gives his appraisal of Reflections and Shadows by Andriy Bulay and offers advice on how it might be improved.
Photo: Reflections and shadows
Taken by: Andriy Bulay
Sigma DP1, 16.6mm, 1/80sec at f/5, ISO 100
I’m not sure I know what this image is exactly, but it doesn’t really matter because I like it so much. I think we are looking at the reflection of a window on a wall, as the shadows and highlights have very different qualities – some are soft and smooth, while others are hard and crisp, much as you get from glass.
The tones, shapes and textures somehow combine to form an image that is pleasing to the eye and mind. I like the contrasts between the curves and the hard-edged straight lines, and the graduated tones and those that transition sharply and quickly. The wall texture and diagonal marks on the left give us a sense of the surface on which the light is playing, while the knowledge that it is a wall that we can understand gives the scene depth. The wall also gives us a contrast between its reality and the fantasy that is played out by the light.
The picture is timeless and limitless, so I’ve added a light warm tone to soften it and make it appear as if it could have been taken any time since the birth of photography. I’m not sure that the tone improves it, but it certainly provides an alternative view. The picture works perfectly well without it, though – I could put this on the wall and enjoy it all day.