Sankha Kar: 'The diagonal path cutting across the landscape and the framing of the horse riders is very well done. The tonal variation of darkness and light adds depth. The more you look at this picture, the more you are able to feel the vastness and calm serenity of the countryside.' Image Credit: Arjun Sasi

Dubai

With summer beating down, travel plans are probably underway for most UAE residents. With travel, comes the opportunity to photograph foreign landscapes, to observe people doing something unusual… to seize the chance to morph into an urban explorer.

But as tempting as it might be to just point and snap at every intriguing sight, it’s much more rewarding to pause and consider a scene before shooting.

When doing this, you are able to get a sense of other elements you can include to enhance the photograph – more layers to increase the depth of field, for instance, or a different source of light to create drama.

National Geographic’s photography blog recommends creating scale to make landscape photographs more stimulating: “When your subject is of indeterminate size — a mountain, a body of water, a snowscape — add a sense of scale by including something of known size, such as a person, a car, a tree, or an animal. This helps viewers understand what they’re looking at.”

When shooting cities, the best shots balance light from three different sources – skylight, streetlights, and lights from within the building. Consider which light best suits your shot, before clicking.

If you come across a cow grazing in a Swiss field, or a water buffalo by a lake in India, try photographing the animals as they are surrounded by their habitat, rather than the usual tight shot with a long lens. It tells a more interesting story.

Whenever possible, pause, consider and take time to explore. You never know, that final touch of magic might be right within your reach.

Deputy Picture Editor Sankha Kar picked the top three winners of our May Reader Picture Competition and here, we present the photographs that stood out from the rest.

Editor’s note: Do you want to participate in our monthly Reader Picture Competition? Send us your best photographs, with captions, at readers@gulfnews.com.

 

FIRST PLACE

Profile:

Arjun Sasi is an area sales manager, based in Dubai.

His winning photograph captures a picturesque view of a German countryside.

He said: “I took this shot from a bus, and my neighbour, who had binoculars, said the travellers may be a mother and daughter on an early morning horse ride.”

 

Reason for winning:

Everything about this picture is serene and wonderful, according to Deputy Picture Editor Sankha Kar. He said: “The diagonal path cutting across the landscape and the framing of the horse riders is very well done. The tonal variation of darkness and light adds depth. The more you look at this picture, the more you are able to feel the vastness and calm serenity of the countryside.”

 

SECOND PLACE

Profile:

B. Venugopal works as a general manager, and is based in Sharjah.

His winning photograph is from a Shiv temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal. A little girl who was clearing up the area caught his attention. She is startled out of her work, as someone from out of the frame yells for her.

Venugopal said: “The pattern of the light falling and the expression of the girl made me want to take this picture.”

 

Reason for winning:

Deputy Picture Editor Sankha Kar commended the reader photographer for the timely capture.

He said: “The pattern created by the light falling through the lattice work is excellent. The reader has composed the picture perfectly, and best of all is the girl’s expression. It makes you wonder what happened next.”

 

THIRD PLACE

Profile:

Manu M. K. is a senior electrical engineer, based in Dubai.

His winning photograph was taken along Maliha Road. He said: “I stopped my car along Maliha Road when I saw this camel. I waited until it walked towards the tree, and clicked when the right moment came.”

 

Reason for winning:

For Deputy Picture Editor Sankha Kar, the reader photographer’s silhouette picture creates a beautiful harmony of dark and light.

He said: “The contrast of the silhouette with an orange sky shows the perfect timing of the picture. If it was taken a few minutes before or after this moment, the results would have been very different. The composition is well done, too.”