Thinking wide

Thinking wide

It is 10 degrees below zero and for the past hour I have been sitting in a snowdrift waiting for a herd of bison to slowly climb up the winding road by Gibbon Falls in Yellowstone National Park.

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We have been talking a lot about composition and framing for the last few days on this safari and the more I realise just how vast Yellowstone is, the more I want to find a way to portray it – and there is no better way than to rid ourselves of the constraint of a four by three viewfinder and think wide…

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A panoramic crop forces the viewer to scan the image from side to side and can emphasise movement…

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…or it can emphasise stillness…

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Giving negative space in a frame reinforces the contrast between a subject and its surroundings, making a bolder visual statement.

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And it doesn’t have to be a literal image – sometimes deliberate camera movement can produce a graphic panorama that evokes a strong sense of the place.

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But eventually the heavy bison trudge past, climbing out of one valley only to descend into the next one to find pastures new…

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… and we clamber out of the snow to find subjects new in one of earth’s most wondrous environments – Yellowstone.

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