Photo 101: Solitude

Our Day 5 assignment of the Photo 101 course was “Solitude & the Rule of Thirds”, which focuses on how we interpret the state of being alone, a solitary subject, or a lonely and uninhabited place. We also explore the Rule of Thirds for composing our shots by placing the subject at the intersection of horizontal and vertical lines separating the nine parts of a photo grid. Or if we break that rule, use it as a guide to make the composition more interesting.

I love to travel, and certain places make you feel alone, yet connected to everything. Here are several photos that capture that feeling for me, taken with my iPhone 5 using the standard Camera app.

These were taken during a trip to Big Bend National Park in February 2013, and combine the solitude of golf, hiking, and desert. We stayed at Lajitas Resort and played Black Jack’s Crossing golf course which meanders in the desert adjacent to the Rio Grande river with the Mexican mountains on the other side.

This was a wonderful visit and you really get a sense of solitude in places like Big Bend. I love playing golf and usually enjoy the peaceful relaxing feeling (when it’s not very busy) just enjoying the surroundings. However, in this setting it’s even more spectacular because the place is so remote and there are so few people around in spite of all the marvelous scenery.

In the first photo, the flag pole is aligned with the vertical “third” line, with the lake and mountain horizon aligned along the horizontal “third” line, making for an engaging photo. Also notice the flag shadow and how close my approach shot got to the pin.

The photo with the scenic golf tee shot shows how the golf course layout was embedded within its natural surroundings, with the Rio Grande river visible along the horizontal “third” line beyond the green. The other shot highlights more of the Mexican mountains with the Rio Grande focused at the intersection of the horizontal and vertical “third” lines with the golf fairway aligned along the lower horizontal “third” line.

The final view shows the view while hiking inside Santa Elena Canyon on the Texas border with Mexico. There’s a wonderful feeling of solitude there as you look up at the opening to the sky along the steep narrow vertical canyon walls. It’s extremely cool on the floor of the canyon, and its very bright as you look up from the darkness. I thought the reflection in the water on the lower “third” line draws your eye there, which shows the upper canyon wall and sky quite vividly.

More photos to come with my gallery of lake views over the weekend.

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