The Art Of Photography

Two girls step gingerly into the waters of the Hooghly River in Kolkata, India.

Here’s what I’d refer to as a pretty grungy, somewhat surreal scene taken from the banks of the Hooghly River in Kolkata, India. I find it to be a mysterious image that encourages interpretation and invention.

In other words, there is more than one story here. The one that actually happened and the many ways in which you might be able to interpret the event into new possibilities, new suggestions and new conclusions. 

Composition Explained

The success of this image is underpinned by composition. The piece of floating debris in the top centre of the image would be, to most folks, unsightly and a distraction. Most likely they’d try to remove it from the photo through retouching.

From my point of view it’s an important element in the triangular composition formed between it, the two girls and the three birds. One, two and three, that’s how this image moves your eye from the frame.

Each of these elements leads the eye onto the other providing balance and a sense of harmony in what might otherwise seem like a pretty spooky image. This kind of duality fascinates me.

There are actually four birds, but I think that our first impression would be that they seem to form a group of three.

The burgundy reds in the girl’s clothing adds some visual snap to what would otherwise be a very monochromatic image. I get the impression that, if the girl’s were to venture too far out into the water, that the color in their clothing would run and be engulfed by the scene’s underlying monochromatic color palette.

Metaphor and Meaning in Art

The metaphor I draw from this outcome would be that the girl’s risk losing their individuality as they are made to conform into the greater collective, much like what happens to those living under the yoke of a totalitarian regime.

It’s hard to deny how the dense blackness of the birds suggests an ominous event is about to take place. Notice how the blackness of the birds is mirrored, in part, in the girl's hair and clothing. This might suggest to some that their demise has already begun.

The Armchair Traveler

What you see in such a photo is going to depend upon how long you look at it and how open you are to interpreting it. It’s not so much about being right all wrong, it’s about allowing your imagination to take you on a journey from the comfort of your home or workplace into worlds beyond your normal everyday experience.

What is Fine Art Photography?

Welcome to the world of photography. And fine art photography is less about what you see in front of you, both as photographer and audience, and more about how you feel about what you see and what imaginings, realizations and revelations will follow.

There’s no coincidence that the subtitle for my eBook, Photographing Cemeteries, is Transience, Transmission and Transformation.


I'm excited to announce my very first commercially available eBook Photographing Cemeteries - Transience, Transformation, Transition

Over three year's in the making this eBook features photographs made on six continents and includes a range of short essays on a wide variety of technical, aesthetic and conceptual ideas.

The most important aspect of the book, other than the beautiful photos, is an examination of the way I photographed each of the sacred sites and how a general documentary approach grew, by answering the creative call, into art.

This eBook is of the highest quality and is underpinned by nearly 40 years experience as a professional photographer. Hundreds of hours and a great deal of expense have been invested into this project. It's  been a wonderful experience which I'd love to share with you. 

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Our Place In This World 

I’m a travel photographer and photography is very much a journey into lives and landscapes beyond our normal everyday experience. Photography allows us to experience, record and share those revelations with the world. That’s the power of photography in our contemporary world.

Would you like to be a part of this grand endeavor? Keep checking back here for regular posts, great photos and information on upcoming workshops and tours. And do make sure you follow me via one of the social media icons listed below.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru