Thursday, 23 June 2016

What's Perfect About This Picture

Writing Canadian Needle Nana has prodded me to do more with photography generally.
 I am almost at a point of saying I think I would like a better camera, not that my little SureShot isn't great, but....
 What stops me?  Being me, I think I have to be really good already to warrant spending the money on any upgrade, proving it won't be a waste.
 There is always that value for my money thing going on in my head.

But I've always loved photography in my own amateurish way and understood the power of a wonderful photo.  Like great art, I think photographs can express things in ways that even literature can't. ( That old 'a picture is worth a thousand words' nugget.)
Good photography is difficult. To me it is a little like writing a poem, each and every element must be just right for the whole to work.

I love this photo of Queen Elizabeth and I've been looking at it with an eye to what's great about it.


The very first thing that struck me is the fact there are five figures displayed in a nice eye-pleasing triangular way.  Odd numbers always work better than even in anything.  She had asked to be photographed with her dogs; she has had corgis since 1949 and later years the new cross breed, dorgis... a corgi and dachshund mix.  The soft light makes her and dogs predominant and of course, the dogs, by their presence add warmth to the photo.

  Were those splashes of pink in the scattered flowers used deliberately to contrast with the other dominant colour, blue, I wonder.
 And about those blues.
  All the shades are in this photo from baby blue to azure to navy.  The sea, the summer sky, baby boys.  Was she asked to wear blue because it is the most favoured colour in the world?

 Is the plaid blanket a nod to the tartans of her Scottish heritage?

We are meant to think she is outside sitting on a wooden bench surrounded by trees.  We know she loves walking her dogs in the countryside.   This conjures a pleasant image of the monarch in her element at her own private residence, Balmoral Castle in August.

She is wearing what we are told Her Majesty wears when relaxing...a collared blouse, a cardigan and skirt. Her dogs around her also imply relaxation.  The monarch off duty, sort of thing.  I think the combination of blues and her outfit look conservative yet sophisticated somehow.

Though this is a very posed photograph, I think it works well.  Her Majesty is looking as happy as she ever looks these days.  The dogs add a charming element and the background of a leafy bower provides depth and an impression of country life.   Well-to-do country life.

I imagine a team put together the elements of this photo under Annie's direction.  I think nothing was left to chance.  But on the other hand, perhaps it went nothing like that.  Perhaps Her Majesty chose her outfit and the setting.  And Annie, with her award winning skills and intuition, made it all work.

What do you think?