How to Look At A Digitally Edited Photograph

The image referred to in the textual analysis.
WOW Nature” – The World Of Web by TheWowClub is licensed under CC0 1.0

© Copyright 2020 Neda Student, Ryerson University.

When taking a photograph there must be a point of focus, whether it be in the foreground, middle ground, or background. Lighting plays a significant role in highlighting the focus of photographs. Through manipulating the lighting one can blur out particular parts of a photograph and or make parts easier for the eye to see. By digitally editing it is possible to highlight the focus of the photograph and make it stand out. This can be done through the manipulation of contrast of light or colour or even altering the saturation of the light and colours. In the exhibited photograph, the focus of the photo is the apex of the mountain. The focus of the photo is comprised of three factors, the way the light is shining on the apex of the mountain, the contrast of the warm tone the light creates against the cool toned sky and landscaping, and the use of perspective in the field of depth. At first glance, the eye is immediately drawn to the apex of the mountain. By highlighting the apex of the mountain in a lighter colour it makes the colouring of the sky, the rest of the mountain, and the forestry below fade into the background. As the eye moves along the apex of the mountain it begins to follow the curving line of the mountains edge towards where it is shadowed. Once the eye is drawn away from the highlighted focal point, the rest of the picture slowly begins to take shape. The details such as the snow, shrubbery, and clouds in the sky draw all incorporate various types of textures.

As aforementioned, contrast can be manipulated through colour and lighting, but it can also be manipulated through texture. In this picture there is a number of different textures as a result of the various substances such as rock, clouds, snow, and trees. In focusing on the texture, when looking at the mountain it is a rough texture that is evident in the grooves and bumps on the face of the mountain. The texture of the trees is soft and feathery against the hard background of the mountain. Lastly, the texture of the clouds is almost silky and misty, they appear to be on the verge of transparency. Having softer textures surrounding the mountain makes the focal point of the mountain stand out as being a severe and unchanging line. The sky’s near transparency when compared to the mountain’s strong and opaque form softly blends the warm tones of the mountain into the cool tones of the trees and landscaping below it.

Just as the colour manipulation changes the contrast of the picture, so too does the direction the lines of photograph exhibits. The prominent line of the mountain runs horizontally which further contrasts the way that the trees in the foreground run vertically. This forces the eye to move horizontally following the line of the mountain and vertically following the height of the trees back up towards the sky.

Works Cited

Elkins, James. “How to Use Your Eyes.” (2000)

Images in this online exhibit are either in the public domain or being used under fair dealing for the purpose of research and are provided solely for the purposes of research, private study, or education.