Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya Thailand

Canon 1ds Mark II, Sigma 20mm F1.8 @F8  1/500th  ISO 100

 

I've shared a few images from the Sanctuary of Truth in the Feature Photograph section before, but this time I wanted to look at this picture from another perspective.  This picture is technically very good.  Using a HDR (high dynamic range) process created by combining seven different images and exposures, this image is ideally exposed from the foreground to the background sky area.  I've removed the distortion and the image is sharp and full of detail.  This is a good image, much better than you'll normally see from this location, yet it's missing some key ingredients that truly make an image interesting.  Can you see what they are?

This image is significant because of what you can't see, because of what's missing.  What's missing is interesting light, structure, scaling anchors, and a focal point that draws the eye.  This next image is from the same location, yet very different.

 

Using light to shape the composition at the Sanctuary of Truth in Thailand

Canon 1ds Mark II, Sigma 20mm F1.8 @F2  1/15th  ISO 100

 

Oh my, I hope I have your attention now!  Are your eyes pulled to each side of the column in the center?  You can't go down both sides at the same time, so which side did you go down first?  I'm guessing the right side.  We're now inside the Sanctuary of Truth and we have all sorts of compositional elements that make this a very strong image.

Follow the light.  You can see the light coming in from the rear of the frame and spreading out towards the front.  Light also is coming in from the left, almost over your shoulder. See the curve of the patch in the lower right?  The strong vertical pillars that serve as compositional structures?  How about the person at the rear left of the frame for a scaling reference/anchor?  Does the small size of the person give you an idea of how big this interior is?  Most of all, can you 'feel' the difference in the light?

 

Low light photography during a workshop at the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya Bangkok

Canon 1ds Mark II, Sigma 20mm F1.8 @F2.8  1/25th  ISO 100

 

This image is another example of great light, a strong focal point, and compositional anchors.  There is also some null/dead space at the top I could crop, the light coming in is far too bright, and I haven't processed for levels or corrected for exposure at all.  Yet, the domed ceiling draws my eye right in.  I'm hooked!  I can crop out the to and sides and even correct for the strong light.  Everything I do to this image should support the main focal point, wonderful light, and the structural composition.

The first example is and always will be a boring image that only shows you what the exterior looks light. Different lighting could help it a lot.. but not this day.  The second image is a completed image that grabs you buy the eyeball and leads you all over, great light, strong composition.. it's a good image.  And this last one promises potential in a huge way.  Three images, three examples, three main points.