Reflecting Composition


Those that know me know I am a heavy left brain thinker and right brain need not apply. This has proven to be a successful trait in my life and my career. When I started getting serious about photography, I always tried to just capture what nature gave me, in the broadest form. Ultra wide angle, vast landscape views. What I ended up with were shots that everyone else has taken. I realized if I wanted to take my photography to the next level, things had to get less technical and more abstract. I need to paint a picture with a scene, and the scene needs to tell a story. It needed to draw the viewers interest to do more than just glance at the image.


I read articles by photographers like Ian Plant and Kurt Budliger, where they take a photo and it’s more than just a scene, there’s a story behind it, and they are able to tell a story with the photo, almost without saying a word. Although I am still a ways away from where I want to be, it’s happened once in the past, and it happened again this weekend. My right brain took over and made a shot more compelling. I was shooting a reflection of a tree in a small pond. As I was lining up the shot a couple I was with were unknowingly walking their way into the frame. Whereas in the past, I would have let them pass and finish the picture. I thought the dark silhouettes of people walking by framing the tree in the reflection would make for a more interesting composition, so I put the camera to my eye, lined it up and waited for them to cross into the frame and snapped.

Although looking back, I am happy that I had the creative idea to shoot a reflection to add more drama to a shot, but that I also had the foresight to see something in a picture to make it better is what makes me so happy about this shot. This photo might not win any awards or shoot me into a career of landscape photography, but this gives me hope that there is a creative side to me and I am getting better at photography. I know it’s small, but it’s nice to know you’re advancing at something you work so hard at.


About Michigan Photographer - Daniel Frei

Daniel Frei is a landscape photographer from Southeast Michigan. Daniel has always enjoyed taking photos while camping and hiking in the woods and has taken this joy to the next level. A stay at home dad by day, when he gets out he likes to visit local hiking trails with the occasional trip farther outside of metro Detroit. He enjoys being a home grown Michigan Photographer

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