Looking in through a restaurant window, Bristol Harbourside; 14 July 2016.

Looking in through this window, I was at once taken with the single, beautiful flower, caught by the light.  But, there being all sorts of visual rubbish off to the left, I could not make the flower anywhere near central in the composition, nor get it near to any of the compositional thirds.  I could of course have tried portrait (ie vertical) format, but this seemed a waste of all that diffuse, half-seen, “restauranty” detail off to the right – table cloths, more glasses, cutlery, upholstery.

And so to this.  Westerners’ eyes often enter images from the left, perhaps because we write from left to right – I’ve often talked about this on this blog in the past.  So,  in this case, my eyes enter this image from the left and run visually slap bang into the flower and its attendant glassware, sharp and well lit in the summer sunlight – and are for a moment held there.

But as I look at the bloom and its reflective attendants, my eyes keep wandering off to the right, wondering what’s there – only to be dragged back to the flower again.

Do your eyes do the same, or do you see this differently?  Is the flower really too far left?  What do you think?

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it.

Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO.


About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. bluebrightly says:

    I don’t know if the flower is too far to the left – the glasses are compelling too, and they ask my eyes to move back and forth between them, and like you mention, there’s the mystery part. And I like it when rules are broken so that argues for having the flower near the edge. 😉 But I do think the reflections of whatever the blurry areas are in the right half of the frame are kind of confusing – as in, am I supposed to be looking at the strange blurred objects, or at the glasses and vase?


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      The flower is too far left but, as I remember it, I was unable to make correct this due to “stuff” further left. And I agree about the confusion on the right, reflections and so on – but maybe the question stands, what are we supposed to be looking at? Which is contrary to the good practice of leaving no doubt about what should be looked at. A

      Liked by 1 person

      • bluebrightly says:

        Exactly. Sometimes the advice about zeroing in on the “one thing” is good to remember, but for many of us who are in love with so many facets of the world, it can be hard to refrain from including as many of them as we see. Or maybe we just make a photo from time to time that isn’t as clear as we’d like it to be. 😉


  2. I see a vertical crop just on the glasses in the flower. I’m wondering about that dark mass coming in from the top right and ending at approximately the glasses.


  3. I would title this: Still Life without a Duvel 😀 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Meanderer says:

    My eyes dart from left to centre and back to the left again – not so much to the right. The glasses with the flower form a very attractive ensemble. It invites me in 🙂


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      The detail out to the right is quite diffuse, isn’t it – less to attract the eye there. And I love the thought of the tableware inviting you in – wonderful! And now preparing for what looks like being a very wet early morning Levels visit tomorrow >>> even taking the waterproof camera! A

      Liked by 1 person

  5. David says:

    I went to the glasses first, from the left to the center, before I saw the flower.


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