A quest for the ultimate, beautiful, meaningful picture

Yvonne van der Mey wins with photo "against the rules"

Yvonne van der Mey, who directed the workshops on nature photography that I followed the last two weekends, won a prize! The prize photo, entitled “Leopard male in the early morning, desperately looking for a female” she had shown to us during the workshop as one with which she was quite satisfied, although it went against a primary rule of composition, namely that you ought to see the subject’s eyes in a portrait-like picture. But here, clearly, that rule does not really apply: we as viewers are following the leopard’s gaze into the depth of the unknown, almost feeling his anxiousness.

That’s a point about so-called rules of composition: you have to adhere to most of them to avoid mistakes in your photo, but you must know when to break one of them to make a truly good shot.

By the way, I wonder if the title of the photo was really true: maybe the leopard was just looking for food, or was frightened through hearing a pride of lions roaring, rather than being on the lookout for a mate, but it is a nice title that adds to the picture’s meaning–it makes the animal more symphatetic to human viewers, and if that’s what gives you a prize, why not?

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2 responses

  1. DFW

    So much the better!

    2009-05-10 at 12:02

  2. Hi Don,

    Thanks for posting this news. The title was not just a nice title. It covers the truth. I spend almost an hour with this Leopard, and he had every clear sign of a man who has fallen in “love”. And he wás deperately seeking.

    Kind regards,

    Yvonne vand er Mey

    2009-05-10 at 03:40