Pinkie - her flowing pink hat ribbons blowing in the breeze, toes pointed forward seemingly ready to dance from the canvas that holds here.
Blue Boy - standing proud like a statue in his unmistakable blue outfit.
As I stand before Pinkie gazing at the artist’s portrait, there is far more to notice than just another pretty face. The canvas holds some great examples of composition and what it can do to enhance an image. One of Pinkie’s ribbons falls from her hat, blown by an imaginary breeze. The fabric swoops down across her body, our eyes following the cloth as it drifts. Her left hand is held in front of her just below the ribbon. Her hand/arm and ribbon never cross. This slight gap between her hand and the textile is a great lesson for photographers; sometimes elements of and image look better with space between them.
In nature think of flowers. In some of our compositions we need to put a bit of space between a focal point and other objects. Pinkie provides us with a lovely example of this in practice. However, as photographers we cannot always decide where something is placed. Sure, maybe we can do a bit of scenic horticulture in our own garden and nudge offending plants out of the way. Not going to happen if I need a Giant Sequoia placed in a different location!
Should we always separate elements? Pinkie provides us with yet another example as her two ribbons cross paths just a short way down the painting. Is this breaking a rule? No, the connecting lines lead us to see that her other ribbon is actually following the flow of her right shoulder before wandering out to the edge of the painting.
Many other paintings provide us lessons, showing where and when elements should be separated and when they work well together. Our own images can do the same thing. Take a moment to look over some of your own images to see if this concept is at work. Many times we just know that it is pleasing to the eye without following a “rule”. Thomas Lawrence completed this painting over 200 years ago, yet it still provides a lesson in our digital world.