National Geographic: Photo of the Day

I just really wanted to share this image with you all. It was taken by Tommy Harris. It is one of the National Geographic’s ‘photo of the day’ collection.

I have always loved National Geographic; its articles are always intelligently written, but the photos have always been by far and away ahead of the mainstream. There is no rhyme nor reason for the selection for photo of the day, but I use them as my background images to keep me interested and entertained. Even as a kid I remember gawping at their images, and even now in a technical, digital, and travel photographer friendly age, their images are something special. This one is called Alpine Climbers, Midi Plan Traverse, France.

For each of the images they also add some photographer’s tips and notes on how to compose images etc. I dont have a swanky digital camera… I have always coveted a digital SLR, but they have always been a bout beyond my price range. Cunning or regular observers of this blog (I flatter myself I know…) will notice that all the photos I have taken are from my iPhone, and normally have my thumb somewhere on the bottom left… but I like to read the tips anyhow. I thought you might like them too! You can find all the back catalogue and photo of the day here.

For this image Catherine Karnow comments:  When I was a novice photographer, I learned from my mentor that a successful composition should lead your eye around the frame in a graceful curve. So it is with this remarkable landscape of swirling clouds, sun, and mountains. The contrast between the soft, gentle, snowy slopes and the sharp, jagged black peaks makes me feel both seduced and afraid, which is surely how a mountain climber must feel.

We first notice the three climbers. Tiny, they show us just how towering these peaks are. They are like the all-important first notes to a grand and bold symphony. We then follow the climbers’ tracks, which trace the same elegant shape of the snowy ridge. The eye then climbs up toward the middle peak at dead center top, then finally to the upper left of the frame. That movement is key to the success of the composition.

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