Monday, February 4, 2008


Untitled, originally uploaded by Taigah.

There are alot of photography rules. One is don't shoot into the sun. It saps the contrast out of a shot and washes all the colors out. Another rule is don't try to get backlit shots unless you want a silhouetted foreground or burnt out background. Well here's a photograph that does both--with glorious results. Sunsets, along with puppies and flowers is one of the most derided photo subjects on flickr. In defense of sunsets, though, it's a tough situation to photograph in a creative or interesting way. I love this photo because of its unconventional approach to a tough shot, capturing an amazing warmth.

Instead of sapping the color away, the glow of the sun breathes life into the entire scene. It's beautiful how the grains of sand are lit golden as they drift down into the sunlight. Incidentally, Taigah's real courageous here for getting down for this low angle shot. Sand pretty much hates anything mechanical, cameras especially so. But the angle works well here to fill the frame with not just the subject but the beautifully colored sky. It is not easy to capture nice gradient in the sky at dusk. Here it just looks like it was so easy.

On top of that, the little details work to add to the "story" here. There's that band-aid above the right knee, toughening up our heroine. She's got that handful of sand, grains slipping away into that sunset. I wonder if she's thinking about metaphors as she gazes down at that sand. Credit has to go to Taigah here for exposing for the foreground, affording us a glimpse of a magical moment. I probably would have exposed for the sky, loosing everything but a boring sunset in the distance. The two beach chairs complete the picture. It's great how you can't tell if they're occupied or not. Maybe they're beckoning us to visit Aruba.

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