By |2013-12-29T18:56:09+00:00May 4th, 2013|

This was not the final image that I had in mind to post here. In the true final version, the pylon found towards the center right of the frame and the little bit of land mass in the upper left corner of the frame would have been cloned out. It’s not that they’re out of focus or a dust spot or anything like that.

Rather, they introduce a term called ‘tension’. We’ve talking about tension on our +Google+ Photos Chat Series HOAs. A lot of times, tension in an image is invoked when an object is dangerously close to the edge of the frame. In other words, there is a visual unease with the lack of ‘breathing room’ between the object and the edge of the frame. It isn’t something that would necessarily be too detracting from the image but it could cause subliminal consternation with the viewer and my core philosophy is that if there is anything that can shift the viewer’s attention away from simply enjoying the image, then it should be dealt with.

So, I hope this gives you some more food for thought when you’re out composing your frames. Make sure you scan all four walls of the frame and determine when you’ve given yourself ample breathing room.


  1. Diane Timmons May 4, 2013 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Thank you for your explanation! Nice photo!

  2. kristín jóna guðjónsdóttir May 4, 2013 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Beautiful picture

  3. Olav Folland May 4, 2013 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Well said +Brian Matiash.  The hard part for me is remembering to also add enough for matting :P

  4. Tony Paldanius May 4, 2013 at 11:38 am - Reply

    luv w&b pics… whatta hell is matter with me?

  5. Nick Oman May 4, 2013 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Well said +Brian Matiash. I especially like calling it "subliminal consternation."

  6. Cynthia Pyun May 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    Really excellent way of describing this, +Brian Matiash and love that you give such an easy to understand example. Thanks! BTW, it's always a good shot from you :-)

  7. Einar Erlendsson May 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Wow. Can't say any more.

  8. Alexis Coram May 4, 2013 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    I'm probably in the small group of photographers who likes this kind of "imperfection" in photography. To me, it brings it to life. It leaves me wondering what exists around you. That little land mass goes somewhere, and I want to know where. I wouldn't be as intrigued if you'd cloned it out. :)

  9. Felicia Baker May 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    +Brian Matiash  I believe this photo best describe tension in space, wonderful photography continue to explore through the eye of Greatness!!!

  10. Sandra Parlow May 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    very nice lesson, Brian!!

  11. Matt Glastonbury May 4, 2013 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    Great Brian!

  12. Arun Sebastian May 4, 2013 at 10:39 pm - Reply


  13. Trey Ratcliff May 6, 2013 at 4:18 am - Reply

    good shot :)

  14. Michael Frye May 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Nice commentary and image.

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