Bringing a Sense of Stability to Your Photos

A detailed view of a section of the facade of the Austrian Parliament in Vienna, Austria

Wandering around Vienna, Austria late in the day I found myself in the grounds of an imposing building, a remnant of the Hapsburg era when the Austro-Hungarian empire was a dominant force on continental Europe.

I was careful to compose the above image in such a way to highlight the symmetry within the design. The image is full of pairs: statues, columns and stone blocks all balancing each other. This balance adds to the stability echoed by the stone itself. A stability originally offered by the might of Austro-Hungarian rule, now visible through vestiges of history evident in these important historical structures.

Days Of Glory Long Past

I've opted for a slightly grungy, desaturated rendering of the scene as a way of depicting the faded glory of days gone by. Yet the intense blue from the sky, reflected in the windows, provides a nice contrast with the subtle warmth of days end reflected off the stone.

For a sense of history Vienna is a great place to visit. What's more the delightful city of Salzburg is only a few hours away.

Statues signifying strength and learning on an historic building facade above the Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia.

A Cruise Along the Neva River

Like Venice and Bruges, St. Petersburg is a city of canals and, just like Bruges, it’s sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North. I loved my time in St. Petersburg exploring the rich culture of that glorious city. As well as visits to the Hermitage and Peterhof Palace I very much enjoyed walking the streets and exploring the canals and areas around the Neva River, day and night.

This particular image was made while undertaking a cruise along the canals. It was a blast and you get a great perspective on the city’s architecture from water level. You’ll notice that balance and stability are also key to the design of this image. After all, it’s just a photo of a group of statues, but by designing the image around compositional elements the image moves beyond the objects depicted. And that’s interesting and the beginning of a good photograph.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru