23 Feb
2011
Ian Plant By
Posted in: Yellowstone    3 Comments

Lamar Valley Sunset, Yellowstone

“Visual Flow”—it’s a topic I talk about a lot in my writings and eBooks, and in fact is the title of one of my upcoming books (due to be released this summer). It is the cornerstone of my philosophy of artistic composition. Basically, the idea behind visual flow is simple: it involves taking viewers on a visual journey. Visual flow uses compositional elements, color, and luminosity to encourage the eye to travel throughout an image, and to hold interest over time. When you can create visual interest, you establish an emotional connection with viewers, and this connection will ensure that they won’t be able to tear their eyes away from your photographs.

"Winter Flow" - Yellowstone National Park

"Winter Flow" - Yellowstone National Park

I’m constantly on the search for compositions that establish visual flow. During my recent two-week stay in Yellowstone National Park, I kept returning to this curving stream in Lamar Valley. I was fascinated by its elegant shape, and the barren starkness of the surrounding winter landscape. Finally, on my last night in the park, I got the sunset clouds I had been waiting for, perfectly positioned to establish a visual relationship with the stream below. Although I am happy with this image, I feel that the scene’s potential hasn’t been fully realized. So you can be sure I will return again next year!

Technical details: Canon 5D Mark II camera, 14-24mm lens (@16mm), ISO 100, f/11, 1/13 second.

Ian PlantAbout Ian Plant (380 Posts)

Ian Plant's photographs and instructional articles have appeared in a number of books, calendars, and magazines, including Outdoor Photographer and Popular Photography. Ian writes a regular blog column for Outdoor Photographer online, and he is the author of numerous instructional eBooks and videos. Ian leads several photo tours each year.


3 Comments

  • Ian, I love how the cloud pattern mimics and reinforces the visual design of the stream. Great work, worth the wait. Bill

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Vincent Nobel, Ian Plant. Ian Plant said: Lamar Valley Sunset, Yellowstone http://goo.gl/fb/wHJ8z [...]

  • What a fantastic place to be in the dead of winter! Great piece of art and you’re right… you can’t tear your eyes away from it!

    Sound to me like a great place to have a winter workshop next year (hint, hint). No crowds and lots of opportunity.

    Jack