jude’s photo challenge: composition

Jude of Travel Words has challenged us to experiment with our photography using different photographic techniques or topics.  For January, she’s given us several aspects to focus on. Because I didn’t go anywhere this month where I could practice these techniques, I looked for images in my archives which show different composition choices.

  1. Clearly identify your subject. Begin by explaining your choice.  How will you draw attention to it? (2020 Photo Challenge #1)

My subject is a pair of statues: Maitreya, the smiling Buddha, and Guanyin.  They stand on the cliff ledges at Baoxiang Temple, also known as “Suspending Temple,” in Shibao Shan in China.  Here I wanted to show the two statues in their setting, set up high in the nook of a cliff with two small temples flanking them. You can see the rooftop at the bottom of the photo, which shows they sit higher than at least one temple in the complex.  However, this photo doesn’t properly capture the height as it was quite a climb up to the village from the valley floor.


Baoxiang Temple, also known as “Suspending Temple”


Baoxiang Temple, also known as “Suspending Temple”

2. Move in closer to your subject but not too close. Lead the viewer towards the subject. (2020 Photo Challenge #2)

Here, I got closer to the two statues, showing them under the ledge with one of the temples behind them.  The lighting was a real challenge as the statues were in shadow.  In many of my shots, the green hill in the background was totally washed out.


Maitreya, the smiling Buddha, and Guanyin

3. Get in closer still. Decide whether to use the vertical or horizontal aspect ratio. Image orientation produces different emphases and can alter the whole dynamic of a shot. (2020 Photo Challenge #3)

Here, I got in closer to the two statues, directly underneath them.  In the first photo, I decided to use the horizontal aspect ratio to capture both statues.  In the second photo, I wanted Guanyin with the temple behind.


Maitreya, the smiling Buddha, and Guanyin



4. Simplify your image.  What is it you want the viewer to focus on? (2020 Photo Challenge #4)

Finally, I took photos from below each statue individually, looking up at them. Maitreya is horizontal, because the smiling Buddha is so wide.  In the case of Guanyin, I captured it vertically, because the statue is tall and thin.


Maitreya, the smiling Buddha



I hope next month to be able to participate with new photos! Thanks to Jude for hosting this challenge. 🙂


“PHOTOGRAPHY” INVITATION:  I invite you to create a photography intention and then create a blog post for a place you have visited. Alternately, you can post a thematic post about a place, photos of whatever you discovered that set your heart afire. You can also do a thematic post of something you have found throughout all your travels: churches, doors, people reading, people hiking, mountains, patterns, all black & white, whatever!

In this case, I’m participating in Jude’s photo challenge, so this is simply in response to her posts.

You probably have your own ideas about this, but in case you’d like some ideas, you can visit my page: photography inspiration.

I challenge you to post no more than 20-25 photos and to write less than 1,500 words about any travel-related photography intention you set for yourself. Include the link in the comments below by Wednesday, February 5 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Thursday, February 6, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation, every first, second, and third (& 5th, if there is one) Thursday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!