What makes a strong image?

Here I just want to discuss my thinking behind an image I made this week, taken at Donaghadee Harbour in Co Down.  We have just experienced extremely stormy weather and high tides battering the coastline.  I did not venture out over this period and this image represents the calm after the storm taken on Wednesday of this week.

Donaghadee Lifeboat and Lighthouse

Donaghadee Lifeboat and Lighthouse

Taken around 3.30pm on a beautiful January day I wanted to ensure I had some strong colour to dominate the scene, I was essentially after a strong image rather than just a general scene.  Seeing the lifeboat I moved in quite close so that it filled a prominent position in the frame.  I wanted to include the lighthouse as part of the composition and so a portrait format was chosen.

I liked the vertical force coming out of the scene, notice the red handrail, the superstructure of the lifeboat and the lighthouse in ascending height from right to left!  The strong colour immediately draws your eye to that part of the image the vertical force draws your eye upwards.  Both the colour and this vertical force gives the image added strength and only after these attributes were identified did I release the shutter.

My point of focus was on the front of the lifeboat superstructure and using a f5.6 aperture I obtained sharpness throughout the image.  I wonder how it would have looked at f1.4? Should have tried this!  The important factor in making an image is to pre-visualise what you want to achieve.  

The image was taken with a Fujifilm X Pro 1 fitted with a 35mm f1.4 lens produces faithful colour and beautifully sharp images and its light weight makes it a joy to use.

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